As any JEVS Human Services employee knows, there are a plethora of programs that we provide for individuals from all walks of life. What many employees do not realize, however, is that some of our programs are open to them too! As more classes begin to rev up during these unprecedented times, we wanted to showcase some of the inspiring JEVS employees who have taken advantage of our JEVS EduConnect program, a partnership with Southern New Hampshire University that features flexible, affordable and accredited online associate and bachelor’s degree programs.
Annette recently leafed through the pages of her high school yearbook and came across a section that listed her dreams, which included working in the health industry. Now, working as a quality assurance supervisor at JEVS Work Ready, Annette loves her job but still wants to explore that part of herself that she has dreamt about for so long.
“I had this passion for a long time, and it was always in my heart that I wanted to go back to school, finish my degree…but then life happened,” Annette said. “You buy a house, have a kid, get a job, and it feels like going back to school gets further and further from your reach.”
Nevertheless, after discovering JEVS EduConnect, Annette overcame the barriers of being a first-generation student, single mother and full-time employee and decided to enroll for an associate degree in health care management. She is now one-third of the way through the program and is proud for not only accomplishing this goal for herself, but also for her son.
“My son and I have a saying– slow motion is better than no motion. So, although it might not always be on the time frame that I want, I am still chipping away at my goal, making progress and being an example for him.”
Valerie is used to being the teacher. She works as a placement counselor with JEVS Work Ready and has both children and grandchildren. However, despite her natural role as an educator, Valerie yearned to be a student again.
“Another employee shared her experience through the JEVS EduConnect program with me and that definitely piqued my interest,” Valerie said. “I wanted to improve on and enhance how I present to my students and I wanted to understand the culture and behaviors that form individual perspectives.”
Valerie enrolled in the program for an associate degree in general studies and is halfway finished. She emphasized that the flexibility of the coursework is what gave her the opportunity to go back to school and succeed.
“For anyone who is considering, I would say go for it. You gain so much regarding different perspectives, collaboration and support from coaches and I almost guarantee that you can make the time.”
Jemmekia is the perfect example of how beneficial it can be for a JEVS employee to partake in a JEVS program. She works as an administrative assistant with JEVS Work Ready and took her passion for her job further by enrolling and successfully completing a bachelor’s degree in communications through JEVS+SNHU.
“I went to community college for five or six years and it dragged on and was test-based,” Jemmekia said. “When I looked at the JEVS EduConnect program and curriculum, I was like, wow you could do it at your own pace and do as many as you want within 6 months.”
Jemmekia enrolled in the program early on, before the JEVS coaching option was fully formed. She said that she knows with added aspect of coaching, the program must be even more successful than it was before. These coaches help keep students on track and check-in with them periodically to assist them in any way they can. Nonetheless, Jemmekia has only positive things to say about her experience.
“My work ethic has improved, and it opened me up to different opportunities that now I can say I have certain skills I didn’t have before that I can apply to my job at JEVS,” Jemmekia said.
The best part of her story is that Jemmekia now urges others at Work Ready to enroll in the program.
“I encourage everyone that’s involved in Work Ready to try the program. I could not recommend it enough.”
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