WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – When a new job opening became available at Ascension Medical Group, physician practice manager Victoria Parris had a great candidate in mind already.
Amy Acuna, a CNA at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis, was looking to broaden her nursing career and the job working the front desk for the Ascension Medical Group OB-GYN office seemed like a great fit. Acuna excelled through the interview cycle but the process hit a snag.
“I got a call from my recruiter to let me know that unfortunately, Amy was not qualified for the position,” Parris tells KSN.
Acuna became a mother at age 15 and dropped out of school so she could financially provide for her son. Her job as a CNA at various assisted living facilities and St. Francis did not require a high school diploma or GED, but the new job she applied and interviewed for did.
Parris asked Acuna if she would be willing to put in the work to qualify for her job, not knowing what her answer would be as Acuna is now a busy wife and mother of three children.
Within 29 days, Acuna secured her GED.
She says resources typically available to help adults with their education were largely unavailable to her due to COVID.
“I kind of just went online and YouTubed everything from the beginning. I started over and taught myself, and I was nervous. So nervous, but I did it,” Acuna said.
The curriculum changed in the years since Acuna, now 32, was in school. She admits she had to ask her son for some help understanding quad polynomials.
Acuna let Parris know she secured the necessary education for this next step, which Parris was happy to brag about to “anyone who would listen.”
Parris notes, we are not all given the same circumstances in life and she feels it is her duty as a manager to recognize those differences.
“Life’s not about being fair, we can’t make everything fair, but we can do our due diligence to make things equitable,” Parris said.
The GED is just the start for Acuna, who has decided to go back to school this fall to pursue further nursing dreams.
The son she gave birth to at age 15 is now 16 years old and considering a career in nursing.