11 Mothers Graduate from CNA Program at Alta Vista Elementary
On Tuesday, December 9, 2014, eleven mothers celebrated graduation from the American Red Cross Certified Nursing Assistant training program in a ceremony together with their children at Alta Vista Elementary School.
Graduates include: Casey Breadmore, Natasha Clemons, Sheerina Haygood, Alaina Hornsby, Rojonic Lewis, Kenyahta Martin, Laura Mezzie, Dominque Monroe, Veronica Sauceda, Racheal Swinford, Samantha Thompson.
Since late October, the graduates spent four and a half days each week attending the program hosted at Alta Vista Elementary and supported by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. During that time, many graduates balanced the duties of taking care of their families with multiple jobs, finishing homework and studying for exams in order to successfully complete their classes.
During the graduation, children joined their mothers on stage one at a time to present them with a rose, as their nursing instructors read hand-written notes celebrating their accomplishments. Many participants were single mothers.
Started in March of 2013, this partnership is aimed at lifting low-income families out of poverty by providing mothers with students at Alta Vista Elementary an opportunity to earn a CNA certification, as well as offer courses on resume building, interviewing tips, and professional etiquette.
The Alta Vista CNA program is part of a larger, two-generation effort between Alta Vista Elementary and the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, focusing on creating opportunities for vulnerable parents and their children together, and the Campaign For Grade-Level Reading, which strives to have all students reading on grade-level by 3rd grade.
“Throughout the ceremony, the graduates expressed how deeply thankful they were for all the parties involved who made this program happen, but truly it came down to these deserving and inspiring mothers who capitalized on the opportunity to improve their lives,” said Roxie Jerde, keynote speaker and President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. “It’s so inspiring to look around the room and see the pride on the faces of the graduates, their families, and their supporters. The ceremony was a celebration of hope and opportunity, knowing these graduates will contribute to a bright future for our community. I thank the leadership at Alta Vista and the Red Cross for this incredible partnership, and especially the donors who are passionate about providing better futures for families in our community.”