Adeola, or “Addy” as her patients call her, immigrated to America from Nigeria with the dream of helping sick people become healthy. After working with the HACC Employment Resource Center, Adeola received tuition aid for nursing school and mentorship through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. It covered $8,000 of her $16,000 tuition.

As a registered nurse, she can make up to $20 per hour and afford the costly necessities for a family of four with her husband. “[HACC’s support] is really helpful for us immigrants…now the children are happy and doing well. Whatever they need for school, I can provide it for them,” Adeola said.

But even with help from HACC it can be hard to stay positive as an immigrant in America. She did not expect that her family would face violent discrimination for being Muslim and Black. At home, Adeola’s 4-year-old and 13-year-old daughters watch the news and come to her scared by the Muslim Ban instituted by the current Trump administration. At work, some patients refuse her care because she’s Black. Some have even used violent racial slurs before knowing her name. But Adeola said she relies on wisdom from Nigeria to keep her grounded, console her children, and provide excellent care at work.

“If you see somebody, don’t judge them by their appearance. Just move with them, walk with them, do with them, and see who they are,” she said, quoting her mother.

Adeola graduates nursing school in Spring 2017. Thank you, to the donors, who walk with people from ALL BACKGROUNDS on their journey to building a better future!

Written by Rachel Hoffman