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You (CNA) Do It, Too!

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try (and try and try) again.

Julian, a student in the FastForward Certified Nursing Aide program, did just that.

After graduating high school, Julian had dreams of working in healthcare, but growing up in a small town in West Virginia, the only jobs available were in coal mining, technical trades or the automotive industry. In Oak Hill, W.Va., there was an unstated expectation to stay in your hometown, get a job at one of the local shops. Take the predictable route.

Julian knew he had to break the pattern. Shortly after graduation, Julian moved to Radford, Va. where he attended New River Community College (NRCC) in the hopes of ultimately transferring into a bachelor’s program at Radford.

While working on his associate degree at NRCC, Julian began applying to Radford. He applied once. Got denied. A second time. Denied. A third time, and again, was denied. To so many people, this would be a last straw, a setback that might just convince you to pack up your things and head back to West Virginia.

But Julian was not deterred.

“On the fourth time I applied, I got accepted, and I basically cried,” he said. “I didn’t think I was smart enough to go to a four-year university.”

Julian had a dream, and he wanted to make sure he did everything in his power to set himself up for success. That’s when FastForward entered the picture.

Julian went back to NRCC, and through FastForward, he enrolled in the Certified Nursing Aide program.

“I wanted to get my feet wet in healthcare industry.” he said. “So, I went [to get my CNA], and honestly, it was the most enriching and best experience I think I’ve ever had.”

This opportunity, along with the courses taken at NRCC, gave Julian the necessary experience to succeed in a four-year program.

“Essentially, it was the foundation that I needed for my career,” Julian said.

One of the most important lessons that Julian learned was not to give up on his dreams. Although this was not his idea of a “traditional” route of pursuing an education, this was the route that was right for him.

“If I can inspire and motivate more people, then I’ve done my job. That’s what I feel in my heart of hearts. If I can inspire others to fulfill their potential as much as possible, like what the people at NRCC and this program did for me, then my life has meaning.”

After completing his CNA, Julian is back at Radford University finishing his degrees in nursing and psychology.

“Whatever walk of life that you’re in, whether you’re young, middle-aged or older… never give up on an education. And never give up on yourself, because that’s the most important part of life.”

If you are interested in learning more about the programs FastForward offers, contact us today.