Student Spotlight: Unquia Smith

OACES student Unquia Smith.

Unquia Smith joined the Office of Adult and Career Education Services (OACES) Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program  because she knew it would provide the qualifications healthcare employers are looking for and she saw it as a way to boost her confidence. She says, “Before I came [to OACES] it was really hard to even get considered in the healthcare field because…people don’t have the time to train you; they want you to already be trained.”

Before deciding to enroll, however, Unquia needed to figure out who would care for her children while she was in school. “It was a struggle because I didn’t have childcare,” she reflected. “[OACES] connected me with a lot of different resources to help me be able to still come to school and have somebody watch my kids while I’m not there. That was really helpful.”

Unquia loved being an OACES student. She appreciated the teachers, how friendly everyone is, and especially how hard staff work to get students the resources they need to succeed. She says, “I would recommend OACES for people who need a push to go and they are not sure how to do it. They’ll help you figure out your scheduling, what works best for you, how best you learn, and they’ll even actually help you with the personal things too that affect you coming here.”

Upon completing the CNA program, Unquia got help with restructuring her resume and started applying to jobs. She says, “I’ve been getting jobs calling me ever since; anything that I apply to they call me back now.”

Well done Unquia! The sky is the limit when you have a great support system in place. That’s why the Digital Literacy program is onsite at OACES to help students with a variety of computer-related tasks, including looking for employment as a CNA. We also help with writing cover letters or researching information. Our goal is to ensure that adults in Monroe County, including OACES students, have the digital skills they need to become fully engaged in their community.

Digital Literacy, a program of Literacy Rochester, helps adults become fully engaged in their community as citizens, parents, consumers, and workers. The Digital Literacy program is provided free of charge on a one-to-one, drop-in basis in partnership with OACES at a variety of locations in and around Rochester.

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