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Ebony Damis-Salaam

May 2019

Ebony Damis-Salaam When I got accepted into nursing school, it was completely unexpected. I was sure I wanted to be in the healthcare arena but I wasn’t certain where. So, I turned to nursing. I didn't have the highest GPA, an outstanding TEAS score, nor the medical experience or background other students had. I was told by an advisor at the school not to get my hopes up about being accepted. Two months after applying, I got my acceptance letter! I couldn’t have been more shocked or excited. It was now a reality. During the nursing orientation at Middle Georgia State University, a representative from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program spoke to students about the opportunity to get school paid for if you met the eligibility and suitability criteria. I jumped on the opportunity immediately and spoke with a career facilitator. I would especially like to thank Mr. Darrell Stillings for all his help and support at the beginning of the program. Those last two and a half years have been the hardest of my entire life. I had to repeat the second semester and I was terrified of how I would be able to continue the program. The WIOA staff assured me that WIOA would cover the cost as long as the school allowed me to remain in the nursing program and I made improvements in my grades. My tuition, fees, textbooks, ATI software, uniforms, and additional nursing expenses were covered by the WIOA program. That was a huge load off my shoulders because I had transitioned and moved three times during my time in the program. Sometimes I’d have to travel two and a half hours just to get to class some days. Other times I didn’t even have a car to get to class. The road to success has many avenues and I needed the support of others to push me forward sometimes. The WIOA assistance was that and more for me. I was able to come to the facility and do my homework, print endless nursing notes from the lectures and PowerPoint presentations, and be reimbursed for the gas I spent going to and from classes. It has truly been a blessing from day one. Thank you to all the helpful WIOA staff at the Middle Georgia Consortium. I will never forget the foundation of support that was given to me.


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