Paige was an excellent student and knew from an early age that she wanted to pursue a career in the health care industry. She had a passion for helping people and after watching family members receive less than adequate health care, she vowed to make a difference. Her family did not have the means to send her to college, so she worked full-time job and after five years of going to school part-time, she completed her Associate Degree in Nursing.
She worked as an Admissions Coordinator in Nursing Rehab for several years, and then began working as a Medical Assistant for an OBGYN. She got certified in Phlebotomy and was given additional responsibilities at work, which she took on with passion and commitment. After several years as a medical assistant, Paige was making a livable wage and was starting to consider buying a house and starting a family. It was around that time that she met Corey.
Corey was a great guy, at first. Paige didn’t see that he was distancing her from her family and friends, and initially, she was flattered when he would become jealous. Corey’s occasional recreational drug use became more frequent and dangerous. He became abusive and Paige began using drugs as well. “It was easier to deal with him when I was high,” she said. Paige’s life started going downhill, and she was finding it increasingly difficult to keep a job. She eventually started working as a server. Getting high and being physically abused had become an everyday thing. “I got so good at covering up my bruises, I considered working as a professional makeup artist,” she joked.
Paige eventually ended up in jail. She’d pawned stolen items that her boyfriend had given her, and refused to turn him in. Finally, she had the time to reflect on her life and question the direction it was taking. She opted to participate in a drug rehabilitation program and ended up at a residential women’s recovery house where she met a Career Development Facilitator (CDF) from Goodwill Manasota’s Job Connection program.
The CDF facilitated classes on boundaries, communication skills and problem solving, as well as job search techniques, interviewing skills and resumes. When Paige was finished with the drug rehabilitation program, she met with her CDF at the Job Connection office and began her job search. She was praying she would be able to get a job back in the medical industry and worried that her criminal charges would make all those years of school useless.
She worked on creating an updated resume, and her CDF showed her how to focus the attention of her resume on her skills and abilities, rather than her work history, which had not been very stable prior to going to jail. Paige received training on how to answer interview questions regarding her background and focused her job search on smaller businesses, which may not run background checks or have corporate polices preventing her from being hired.
The day after updating her resume she received a call for an interview and she was hired at a small family practice as a Medical Assistant. Paige called her CDF immediately and thanked her for all her help and support. Paige said she’d learned that it wasn’t about the mistakes you made in life, but about what you do afterward, that makes you who you are. Giving people a second chance; it’s what we do!