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Caring For a Family Member Sparks a Career Interest: “HealthWorks Was a Great Steppingstone For Me”

Elyssa Seanez did not know her career journey would face obstacles or take detours, but thanks to JVS SoCal, it’s now on an upward trajectory in the healthcare industry.

A resident of Paramount, Elyssa graduated from high school in 2014. Like many students she was undecided on a specific career path. Nevertheless, she enrolled in community college. She started out in the Culinary Arts program, then switched to Interpreting before ultimately earning an Associate of Arts degree in Geography. During this time, Elyssa worked at a small entertainment company in Downtown L.A., shipping out orders from their warehouse. Money was tight, but she was able to pay for her rent, car, school and other costs of living. Then COVID hit and Elyssa found herself unemployed for six months. She returned to the same business later that year, but sales were down and in 2021, Elyssa was out of work again.

“I was constantly in limbo,” she shares. “I thought about transferring to a four-year university but didn’t with everything going on.” Instead, Elyssa began assisting a family member who had suffered a bad leg injury. “I was helping her around the house and caring for her, so I started thinking about the healthcare industry.”

A few months later, while researching online for work opportunities, Elyssa discovered our HealthWorks program. She liked the idea of working in the healthcare field, since healthcare workers are always needed, and she wanted more job stability. JVS SoCal’s HealthWorks program, which offered her the opportunity of becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).

Looking towards a future with job stability, she liked the idea of working in the healthcare field, “Essential workers are always in demand,” she thought.

Elyssa applied and was pleased when she was invited to participate. The program was partly online, the first couple of weeks it focused on career search. They helped her build a proper resume and helped her gain confidence in applying and interviewing.

Then there was the practical, in person instruction. “The healthcare aspect was really good,” she says. “The instructors had long histories in the field, the demonstrations were incredibly helpful.”

When Elyssa graduated and took the test to become certified as a nursing assistant, she was well-prepared and earned a passing grade on her first try.

Soon after graduation, Elyssa was hired by the The Rehabilitation Centre of Beverly Hills, an employer she connected with through JVS SoCal. She has since gained additional experience in home health for seniors. Working in the medical field, Elyssa has been able to look at her wide array of options within healthcare. Today, she is working towards becoming a radiologic technician. Now that Elyssa’s career is on an upward trajectory, she says the JVS SoCal program was “life changing.” In fact, she’s now not only in the position to help others through her work, but she can take care of herself and the people who are most important to her—her family.

If you’d like to help others like Elyssa to discover their passion and get on an upward career trajectory, consider donating here.