Celebrating Learners: One Employee’s Life-Changing Story

Employee that used education programs to become a nurse

Around here, we believe heart and soul that education changes lives.

And every day, our clients help their employees create those life-changing stories – and show everyone how it’s done. 

Take this one, about Grecia Baxter. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient works as a certified nursing assistant and a financial counselor at Mission Health in North Carolina. 

“My aunt in Mexico is a doctor,” Grecia, a first-generation immigrant told the Biltmore Beacon. “When she was a resident she would take me with her. She inspired me.” 

School was forever on Grecia’s radar, but always out of reach. 

“Coming here to the US, the opportunity wasn’t there for me. And, it was a huge amount of money just to go to community college.”

Yet her interest was always there. 

Then there was the day in the hospital’s emergency department when she saved a patient’s life – and changed her own. “I did CPR,” she recalled. “It’s just such an amazing out-of-body experience. I want to do that for the rest of my life.” 

So she acted on a tip from a colleague about the hospital’s education program.

“I reached out to HR,” she said. “They did their research, and they came back to me and they sponsored me so that I could go to school.”

Now she’s hitting the books, on her way to becoming a nurse.

“This is the first time,” she told the Biltmore Beacon, “that I’m able to go to college.” 

Like we said, life changing. 

It’s a great story for Grecia; and a pretty great one for her employer, too. “Healthcare is constantly changing,” a Mission Health administrator told the paper of the reasoning behind paying for school for a great employee like Grecia. “If we don’t stay abreast of the latest technology and look toward the future, we can’t take care of patients safely.”

Plus, said the administrator, “I can show [employees] how they can do it without paying a dime out of pocket.”

It’s a single path to a lot of stellar ends. 

But for Grecia, it’s just the beginning.

“It’s helping me bring value to the company,” she said. 

“This is pretty much a dream come true.”

As we take a week to acknowledge adult learners – 

That’s something to celebrate.

Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

November 19, 2020

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.