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Success Story - A Letter From Tawana Johnson


Looking back over the last few years of my life, many have used words like, reliable, courteous and ambitious to describe my character. It has been said by numerous co-workers, professors, family and friends, that I had the potential to become something great. And as a newly graduated Registered Nurse, I can attest that hard work really pays off. And the power of hope is an awesome light that inspires change. Although these acclamations were great and true for the most part, however, things have not always gone so well for me.

I grew up in the housing projects of Glynn County, and attended the local schools. My parents were God fearing people who did their best to teach me the right way to live. As a teenager I figured I knew more than they did, so I refused to listen. I got pregnant in the 8th grade and ended up dropping out in the 10th grade. At the age of 15, I was on the streets and life seemed to be ending before it ever started. Needless to say scholastic education was not a priority for me, but in order to survive I quickly became educated by the hard knocks of street life. This was not usual in the community I grew up in, but somehow I continued to dream of a better life.

I hung around doing nothing for a while, and then my mother challenged me to get my GED. I never had a problem learning in school; I just preferred not to go. Until I dropped out of school, I made good grades and always loved to read. So when she challenged me, I felt I would do it just to prove a point. I ended up taking the GED test and passing it with a high enough score to graduate in the same year I would have if I had stayed in school. This small victory was what I needed to get me back on track. I decided with the help of God and many others, I could make a change for the better.

After getting my GED, I tried to get a job, but there was not a lot of money to be made with just a GED, and no experience. I needed a college degree. Here again I was at a standstill in life. Then someone told me about becoming a nursing assistant. I took the course and enjoyed working in the nursing field, but I still wanted more. I knew I needed to go back to school, but the thought of going back to college was farfetched. No one in my family had ever gotten a college degree. And who was I to think I ever could? Still I had a dream, and tried several times to go to school, without much success.

Then I heard about the WIA program, little did I know it, but my life would soon take an entirely different turn. I enrolled at the College of Coastal Georgia in 2.9.97 to pursue a two-year degree as a registered nurse That’s when things started to look up for me. I met Mrs. Bandy from the Georgia Department of Labor, and she was very instrumental in helping me to get the supplies I needed for class. The WIA helped me with tuition, text books, paper, pencils, and please don’t forget child care. There was no way I could have attended class without dependable childcare. The WIA program helped me to reach my long awaited dream of becoming a nurse, and for that I am so thankful.

Forever Grateful,             
Tawana Johnson