Job Corps Scholars

Grantee Spotlight

The Grantee Spotlight highlights promising practices and student experiences in Job Corps Scholars programs. This month, we are highlighting Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC).

Learn more about DMACC's program here: DMACC Young Adult Program

Student Success Story
During the first Career Readiness class, the Employment Specialist noticed that Asia, was reading with her face close to the screen. As the Employment Specialist was presenting, Asia could not read the PowerPoint presentation displayed on the screen. After the class, Asia met with the Program Navigator for the Young Adult Program (YAP) study session. The Program Navigator went through the syllabus with her and noticed she did not want to read the syllabus to complete the Syllabus Quiz. The Navigator suggested a larger font would be better and printed the syllabus in size 16 font. Asia was able to read it well and completed the quiz during the YAP study session. Both the Navigator and Employment Specialists asked Asia if she had glasses or would consider getting glasses. Asia wasn’t sure if she could afford it. The Navigator worked with her to determine her insurance coverage and the Employment Specialist worked with her to identify places that accepted her insurance with no out-of-pocket costs. Once a place was identified, Asia made an appointment and had her glasses in less than a week.

Asia's testimony
I hated reading so that’s why I don’t text back or send emails. When I needed to read, I would use my dad’s reading glasses. I used to get by until I had to read a textbook. I would have to read slowly and reread lines and paragraphs, so my reading assignments took me longer to finish. A strategy I used was using my finger and pen to help me stay on track with the reading lines, but that would get tiring after a while. Now that I have glasses, I can read much quicker and it doesn’t hurt my eyes as much.

Before joining the Young Adult Program, I was working for a local restaurant and I knew that job was not a good fit for me. I’ve work with family members who worked in the healthcare field, and they showed me how to provide personal care for clients. I knew that the Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) program would be a great opportunity for me to continue what I was learning. I am nervous about this next step because it’s the first step I’ve taken since graduation. The YAP kick-off session helped me out a lot by helping me become comfortable with who I’m going to be with, let me know what I’m going to be doing, also they helped me understand that if I really want to work as a CNA, I would have to get out of my comfort zone to do certain tasks. I’ve seen personally how to do CNA tasks and it makes me super happy to be starting a brand new journey for myself.

Follow-up on Asia: After completing her nurse aide training and career readiness course, Asia successfully passed the State of Iowa’s written and skills exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. She was hired as a full-time Patient Care Technician (PCT) at UnityPoint Health in Des Moines in September. She has been employed in this role for the past 2 months. During this time her employment specialist has assisted her in getting connected with the Business Model Canvas through the Financial Empowerment Center. She successfully completed this three week bootcamp that helps participates start to outline a business idea. Asia is also looking at taking some graphic design classes as she continues to work towards starting her own business in the future.

Feel free to share your success stories by e-mailing​.