Orlando Daron has worked as a CNA at St. Mary Home in West Hartford for 12 years. He began taking classes at Capital Community College in 2006, has taken two courses per semester since then, and is graduating this spring with an Associate’s Degree in Social Services. After graduating, he plans to continue on for his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and hopes to work in mental health counseling.
Orlando’s son is graduating from Windsor High School this spring, and Orlando smiles at the thought of the two of them graduating together. “My son is very excited, and so am I,” he says.
Orlando has a passion for community work, for working with those less fortunate. In Jamaica, he did pastoral work, worked with youth leagues and coordinated netball competitions. Once coming to Connecticut in 2002, he became an Elder at the Calvary Church of God in Christ in Bloomfield, where he also sings in the church choir, teaches the male Sunday School class, and is the Sunday School Coordinator.
He says that going to school all of these years has been challenging. “Sometimes I wondered if I’d make it through, but it takes discipline, commitment, and determination to accomplish your dream.” He also says that it is important to accept encouragement from outside sources. His wife has been very supportive, as have been other friends and co-workers.
“The Training Fund encourages people to broaden their scope of knowledge. These are great opportunities for 1199 workers, and we should take advantage of it.”