St. Clair Caines has worked as a C. N. A. at Advanced Nursing of New Haven for eight years. A grateful Union member and Training Fund participant, St. Clair states, “Thank God for the 1199 Union. A lot of our forefathers worked (and died) for some of the rights that we have today–Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcom X. We can’t take our rights for granted. If the Union wasn’t there, what would your life be like?”
In addition to completing the 20 week long Training Fund sponsored Phlebotomy Program held at New Haven Adult Education Center, St. Clair also participated in computer classes and Spanish for the Healthcare Worker Course. The (Spanish) teacher Kathy was so down-to-earth.”
When he was younger, growing up in St. Kitts meant surviving to feed your family. “You focused on pigs, sheep and horses; there wasn’t time to focus on studies at home. But when he turned 18 and took at tehncology program, he started to realize his potential. Today he full responsibility of being in charge of his education and future and becoming “your own person”. He encourages others to remember the benefits they have and be “real and authentic”.
Family life and going to school has been challenging. For years, he supported his wife’s efforts to get through nursing school. With six children it was sometimes a struggle to get to work and school. But through his “take charge” attitude, St. Clair persisted. “Knowledge is half the battle. Then we have to exercise by going and doing what we know. You live, learn, then act.”