Masgelah Sullivan came to National Able Network seeking to positively change her employment situation. She had been pursuing her education with the goal of a stable career for many years, but something about this time, when she connected with National Able Network, felt different.
Masgelah, who was born in Israel, moved to the United States when she was about 14 years old. As an immigrant, she struggled with language and culture adjustments – especially in high school. However, Masgelah’s family instilled the importance of education in her and she worked hard. She earned her GED and began taking college courses. At the age of 18, Masgelah became pregnant. Her daughter was born with special needs and Masgelah knew that pausing college to take care of her child was the right choice to make.
With doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, MRIs and more, finding flexible education and stable employment was a challenge. But Masgelah never gave up! Although non-verbal, her daughter didn’t give up either and she was able to walk and run, which led to Masgelah registering for classes at Prairie State College. Because of her experience with doctors and nurses, due to her daughter’s condition, Masgelah was drawn to healthcare. “I wanted to do nursing, or a medical assistance program and I had to go speak to a counselor,” she recalled. “As we started talking, the counselor told me to go to next building over and apply for the [Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act] WIOA program.”
Masgelah followed her counselor’s advice and was accepted into the WIOA program at National Able Network and began working with her career coach, Cheryl Travis. Through WIOA, her training was funded, accommodating, and allowed her to advance her education while taking care of her daughter. “They made it so easy and convenient. It was flexible and there wasn’t a lot of pressure,” she said.
As part of her WIOA training, Masgelah began taking the nursing and medical assistant classes she always wanted to complete. She soon received her phlebotomy certification and began working on CAN and EKG certifications. She also currently volunteers at a blood bank. According to Cheryl, Masgelah “is amazing. It’s been difficult for her but I’m so proud of her fight and how she’s fighting.”
As Masgelah continues to work toward her certifications, she gives a lot of credit to Cheryl, “She’s a huge part of why I want to be so successful in this program. She was an inspiration and motivation by just being there for me when I needed her.” It’s important to remember that job search can feel lonely, but National Able Network has a team of career coaches that are ready to help you find and stay on the path to success. Keep it up, Masgelah!