Vanessa Thigpen, an Arden House worker for 27 years, has been taking “Spanish for the Healthcare Worker.” She is a person who embraces multi-cultural communities and states, “I think the Spanish class is the best thing that the Training Fund provides because it gives you the basics to communicate with someone who is ill. I put a smile on and say ‘good morning’ in Spanish and it makes the resident feel wonderful. Before the Spanish class, I would have to get the maintenance worker to speak to my Spanish speaking residents; now I can do it myself. “
An Arden House worker for 27 years, Vanessa was there when the Union was brought in. “But we didn’t have the Training Fund, “ she said. “I was heartsick when we got our first contract because I knew the Training Fund could help expand our horizons. Once a person is confident, there’s no stopping them. “ Thanks to Vanessa and her co-workers, Arden House now has the Training Fund in their contract and they love it.
Active in her community, Vanessa participates in “Grandparents on the Move,” which meets as a committee concerned with the education of grandchildren. In addition, she encourages others to be persistent in school and use the Training Fund. “I was out of school for a while and rusty. The first time I took classes, I was overwhelmed, but failure wasn’t an option for me. The Training Fund let me try again. Vanessa recommends that people make the time to study for school, “otherwise you won’t remember. I make time for me even after working 12 hours.”
She is a licensed Phlebotomist through the Training Fund, and is currently taking Critical Thinking, math and continuing with Spanish classes.