Student Stories: Michelle Smith
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Michelle Smith was working in the healthcare field before attaining her CNA certificate from LATC. She found our school through her local Worksource Center. She appreciated that LATC was within walking distance of her house, and is grateful that the Worksource Center paid her school fees.
Michelle wanted a job that was “recession-proof” and was pleased to be accepted into our Nursing Assistant course in August 2019. She enjoyed taking classes with Ms. Moore and Ms. Eredia. “My teachers were very helpful and encouraging, and my classmates and I helped each other, too,” says Michelle.
Michelle completed the program in January 2020, and earned her CNA license. She has been working since August 2020 at Sunrise Senior Living, an assisted living facility. That year, in the midst of the pandemic, she also lost her mother to vascular dementia. “It was a bittersweet year,” she recalls. “But my mother’s spirit is with me because she is always in my heart.”
In addition to providing care for her mother, Michelle also raised a son with autism. These caregiving experiences provide inspiration for Michelle to carry on her healthcare work. “You need a lot of heart, patience and drive to succeed in this industry,” she observes. “It can be very stressful and demanding.”
Although she normally works part-time, Michelle has had to work double shifts at times. But she enjoys helping seniors manage the aging process, and assisting them with the tasks of daily living. “The skills I learned at LATC helped me to continue and build on the skills I already had.”
Michelle would advise anyone to take advantage of free job training classes at LATC. “Don’t let your age be a factor. Learning new skills is not always easy, but it’s a great opportunity. Just do your best and don’t give up.”