CHERRY HILL, N.J., Dec. 30, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — When we are on the right path and are passionate about what we do, the universe conspires in our favor. Many of us have heard this before but Melissa Alford, a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Alaris Health at Cherry Hill, is living it. A mere two years ago, Ms. Alford was forced to live in a homeless shelter after losing her job. Since then, she has embarked on a remarkable journey to fulfill her dream to be a Nurse Practitioner, and she is inspiring others along the way.
On December 24th, Avery Eisenreich and the Alaris Health Foundation gave that journey a leap forward. During a ceremony at Alaris Health at Cherry Hill, Mr. Eisenreich, on behalf of the Alaris Health Foundation, awarded Ms. Alford with a $10,000 scholarship toward her nursing school and nurse practitioner tuition.
Last month, Philly.com covered the fascinating story of Melissa Alford, whose difficult journey began in 2007 when she moved from Georgia to Camden, New Jersey to escape from an abusive relationship. Being a Nursing Assistant for many years in Georgia, her intention was to do the same in Camden. She quickly found out that her CNA license was not accepted in the state of New Jersey. Ms. Alford ended up working as an assistant manager in a fast food restaurant but after several years and battling an illness she found herself unemployed. By 2014, she was forced to live in a homeless shelter.
But Ms. Alford fought back. After receiving guidance and support from the Camden County Career Center, she received a grant to resume and complete her training as a CNA in New Jersey. Within months she was off public assistance and eventually began working at Alaris Health at Cherry Hill. Aside from her position as a CNA, she has also been given the role of speaking to all new hires to welcome them in their new work environment. She has become an integral part of the team.
A few months ago, Ms. Alford was the honoree at a Camden County state-wide program recognizing individuals who have overcome extraordinary obstacles. She was selected to tell her story to over 300 guests and she made headlines. She then received a $5,000 honorarium from Townsend Press for permission to publish her story in a book titled “The Power of Determination”. Ms. Alford quickly stated that the $5,000 would be going toward tuition for nursing school. Her dream is to become a Registered Nurse and ultimately a Nurse Practitioner.
When all the details of this incredible individual reached the attention of Avery Eisenreich, there was no hesitation in trying to help Ms. Alford make her dream come true. “The Alaris Health Foundation has always been committed to supporting education and higher learning. In the case of Melissa Alford it goes beyond that. She has demonstrated tremendous character and perseverance in the face of adversity. We are proud to have her as a team member at Alaris Health and want to help her succeed in reaching her educational goals,” stated Mr. Eisenreich.
Ms. Alford expressed her deepest gratitude for the scholarship, “It’s going to be a real Merry Christmas this year! I’ve never been this ready before in my life. I’m really going to school now and only looking back to see how far I came!”
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David Sussman at email@example.com
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