Jessica Price now sees her dream career goal very clearly and within reach, which keeps obstacles out of sight.
To start, she is working diligently toward becoming a Registered Nurse before she continues on for her bachelor’s degree.
She earned an Associate of Science, Biology emphasis in May and completed her associate degree in Community Health Science in December. These will boost Price when she applies this spring to the Maxine S. Jacobs Nursing Program at Truckee Meadows Community College.
One of Price’s side goals—and not any less important—is to provide for herself and daughter, never to live in need or poverty again.
She is enrolled in a unique 16-week “Getting Ahead” program sponsored by the Food Bank of Northern Nevada (FBNN).
“The program brings people of all different backgrounds together to learn about new resources from each other,” Price said. “It gets people connected and networked, building upon personal resources by getting together in these groups.”
Learning the tools to rise above poverty include topics such as knowing the resources offering housing assistance, or help with finding child care. Another individual may need a referral to job training, or details for applying to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). There are many helpful community organizations or services, and knowing locations and contacts are key to making strides toward one's goals.
Individuals who take the Getting Ahead classes may have grown up in a family experiencing financial need or food insecurity, and others might have lost a job or separated from the family breadwinner.
The program began in 2008, with the FBNN hosting the classes, or sponsoring them in partnership with other organizations, such as local Rotary Clubs. Sometimes the organizations’ members become trainers themselves and groups host their own Getting Ahead program series. FBNN also collaborates with Reno Housing Authority (RHA) to offer the program for residents.
Getting Ahead also brings in speakers who offer information about other programs, including Northern Nevada Literacy Council, JOIN Inc., Community Services Agency (CSA), TMCC Adult Basic Education, and others.
TMCC Is an Important Resource
Price has found that TMCC has wrap-around support services that help her succeed in the steps toward her career goals.
“It’s all-inclusive here, the faculty and staff make a big difference—they really recognize what you may be going through, being understanding and open with students' situations, and allow things to be worked out,” Price said.
She adds that part of the encouragement felt at the College is an environment of mutual respect for each individual's background—a respect for diversity.
“People on campus are supportive, they let you know you can accomplish what you set out to do,” Price said. “They don’t look down on you; they say that ‘you can do it.’”
She sees a campus attitude of warmth reflected in the experience of other students around her.
“They do this for everyone, not just if you’re a single parent,” she added. “I’ve talked with other students and they love TMCC.”
The Future for Price
Price will finish up the Getting Ahead program in February, and will apply to the Maxine S. Jacobs Nursing Program.
Upon completing her nursing degree at TMCC, she’d like to enter the RN to BSN Program at the Orvis School of Nursing, University of Nevada, Reno.
“I want to provide a bright future for myself and my daughter,” she said.