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Newsletter >> Tishika Bruno
Tishikika Bruno had to confront death for the first time during her first week on the job as a Registered Nurse in the Oncology ward at a local hospital. She struggled mightily to deal with losing patients with whom she had grown close.
“It was very hard,” she recounts, “but in the end I found that it was rewarding through it all. The families of the patients really rely on you and you become a very important part of the process for them.”
Tishika didn’t simply happen or stumble into this career among the very sick and dying. In fact, it was a childhood dream.
“I always wanted to be an Oncology nurse,” she explains, “ever since my grandmother spent time in the hospital with cancer when I was a child. I was so appreciative of the nurses there. They really helped my family and I cope with the whole situation. I decided then I wanted to give back.”
However, the road from childhood inspiration to adult achievement was long and fraught with challenge.
Tishika was 29 years old, a single mother of four children, receiving food stamps and living in subsidized housing when she first appeared at Workforce Solutions East Career Center in January 2009. She had worked hard to fulfill her nursing prerequisites and was ready to tackle her Associates Degree at Austin Community College.
“I had heard that Workforce Solutions could help people get training, but I thought it was too good to be true,” she remembers. “I was amazed there were no strings.”
No strings, but certainly an expectation that individuals that receive benefits are serious about their careers and prepared to put in the work to achieve their goals. Tishika exemplified that approach.
Workforce Solutions provided tuition, books, gas cards, and uniforms. Tishika responded by earning straight-As in school and taking a full-time job as a Clinical Assistant. The skill set she received from the job motivated her to excel in her academics.
Upon graduation in December of last year, she was almost immediately hired as an Oncology nurse. Soon after, she proudly reported she was no longer eligible for food stamps or subsidized housing; she had achieved self-sufficiency! She credits both the financial and emotional support she received from Workforce Solutions.
“They were so supportive,” she explains. “They really provide everything you need to help you succeed.”