Colleen Rankine, Kimberly Hall South, 8 years CNA
- What Training Fund benefit are you currently using?
Transition to College English 101
- What are your educational/training goals or purpose for using the benefit?
I want to start college to become a dietitian/nutritionist. Part of my goal is to be a role-model for my daughters who are 9 and 2 years old.
- How is this program helping you reach your goals?
In addition to learning college English skills (reading and writing), it’s also allowing me to see if I can balance school, work and family through time management.
- What do you most enjoy about…What is one challenge you face in the class?
Because they keep the classes small, I get individual attention from my instructors, who are patient. I enjoy having adults as classmates.
It is a challenge to get my homework done. Because I work full-time and have to attend class onTuesday and Wednesday morning. I work a double shift every weekend. I miss fun activities with my kids on the weekends.
- What advice do you have for other members who are thinking about using this benefit?
If you have fears about going back to school as an adult, go to the 1199 Training Fund; they help you conquer your fears. It’s not about passing or failing, it’s about learning.
Use it! It’s free! And, it’s your bosses money– not even out of union dues! It’s your employers’ way of telling you that they are in support of education and upward mobility. They might not tell you to your face. Even if you don’t want to educate yourself for goals, you may want to be able to better assist your children with their homework.
- What would people be surprised to learn about you/What is something you would like people to know about you?
I have an artistic side. I write poems. At a younger age, I lost my friend and her two sons in a violent crime. During this this difficult time, I discovered that poetry helped me get through my grief by expressing myself on paper. This is one of my poems:
A Mother’s Pain
By Colleen Rankine
With streams springing from her sleepless eyes,
She greets the crescent moon just before it dies.
Her bare feet hurry along the grassy track,
And coldness bites her scarcely covered back.
Roosters echo their melodious song,
Breaking the silence while she journeys along.
Rivers run down her haggard face,
As she thinks of his final resting place.
By a stray bullet, her baby boy was killed;
Ten years today and the void cannot be filled,
Ten years and the wound is scarlet still.
Just as the sun peeps over the hill,
The grassy cemetery comes into view,
And she walks to his tiny grave covered with dew,
She whispers softly as though he can hear,
“My precious child, have no fear.
In my heart, you have a special place,
And your memories I’ll never erase
So, if tomorrow I do not visit
Know that I am with you in spirit.