Discover Goodwill’s CNA program receives award

CNADiscover Goodwill’s Certified Nursing Assistant program was honored in February by Mutual of America, a leading retirement and insurance provider for nonprofit organizations nationwide.

The CNA program was named one of 10 national merit finalists for the Community Partnership Award during an awards luncheon hosted by Mutual of America in Colorado Springs.

The ceremony honored support staff, financial donors and partnering agencies that have significantly contributed to the program’s start-up and long-term success.

Established in 2011, Discover Goodwill’s CNA program provides nurse training, certification and placement for economically challenged individuals referred through the El Paso County Department of Human Services.

Accepting the award, Discover Goodwill President and CEO Karla Grazier said, “Since its inception, the CNA program has certified over 70 participants with a job placement rate of nearly 90 percent.”

CNA graduate and newly employed health care professional Salina Perez shared her emotionally charged story at the end of the program, which received a standing ovation from attendees.

“I was a single mother with two young children, no transportation and no regular income,” said CNA graduate Perez, who is also newly employed. “I was sitting at a bus stop at 5 a.m. one morning with a child on each leg when reality set in and I said out loud, ‘We need a plan.’ ”