December 22, 2020 Melissa Lamar

Tunxis Community College held a virtual graduation ceremony on Dec. 10 for graduates of its certified nurse aide and sterile processing technician programs, made possible through a new scholarship that provides free, short-term retraining for in-demand health careers to workers who lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tunxis is one of the largest training providers for the statewide initiative, funded by a $127,000 grant administered by Capital Workforce Partners (CWP) with support from CT Department of Economic and Community Development/CARES Act.

During the video conference ceremony, Tunxis virtually conferred certified nurse aide and sterile processing technician certificates to 53 graduates, who completed their six- and eight-week coursework through a combination of online and in-person instruction.

“I would like to commend our students for having the courage and persistence to undertake this important training in the midst of a pandemic, said Eileen Peltier, chief regional workforce officer of the North-West region of Connecticut Community Colleges, who led the training initiative for Tunxis. “Residents of Connecticut need you, and you are meeting the moment.”

Tunxis certified nurse aide graduate Jazzmyne Mitchell shared her personal story of her journey to graduation. Her family was directly affected by the pandemic when they lost her uncle to COVID-19. That loss helped push her to pursue a new career path. “I wanted to work in the medical field to help slow down this disease that’s affecting millions of families like my own,” said Mitchell. During the pandemic, she was also laid off from her job and lost her grandmother to cancer.

“This program really helped me get that hope and motivation back that I needed to go into the world and make a difference,” Mitchell continued, noting she woke up at 5 each morning, riding on three buses to get to Tunxis. “The training I received was intense, but it taught me everything I needed to know to go out into this field and really know what I’m doing.” Since graduating, Mitchell passed her state exam and is interviewing for jobs as a CNA.

“Completing your training during these extraordinary times tells all of us that nothing will stop you from achieving any goals you put your mind to,” said Dr. James Lombella, North-West regional president of the Connecticut Community Colleges, in his address to graduates. “This ability to stay focused and follow through on your commitment will serve you well in your new workplace.”

Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, Dr. Darryl Reome, Tunxis campus CEO, and Mark Argosh, chair of the Governor’s Workforce Council, were among other leaders who addressed the graduating class.

The scholarship program covered students’ tuition for the six and eight-week programs, as well as career counseling, interview preparation, job placement assistance, technology resources, and a stipend for transportation and expenses. In addition to CWP, other partners that supported the program included the Governor’s Workforce Council, Social Venture Partners International, and Career Resources.

Tunxis Community College is commemorating its 50th anniversary of education and service in its communities in 2020, and the 20th anniversary of satellite facility Tunxis@Bristol. Tunxis first opened for classes in 1970 with 494 students, and today approximately 6,000 students enroll each semester in more than 70 credit and continuing education programs as they prepare for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs and employment in areas with industry need.

Since the first graduation in 1972, approximately 14,712 credit graduates have been awarded 18,215 degrees and certificates from Tunxis.

 

Tunxis Class of 2020 Workforce Development & Continuing Education Graduates: 

(Graduates reside in Bloomfield, Bristol, Broad Brook, East Hartford, Ellington, Farmington, Hartford, Manchester, Meriden, New Britain, Newington, Plainville, Plantsville, Southington, Torrington, and West Hartford.) 

Bloomfield 

Desiree Ford                             Certified Nurse Aide

Jaida Hampton                          Certified Nurse Aide

Bristol 

Jazmin Johnson                        Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Ferrouja Kebaili                         Certified Sterile Processing Technician 

Broad Brook 

Mak Miller                                 Certified Nurse Aide

East Hartford 

Eunice Akyeampong                 Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Franklina Davies                       Certified Nurse Aide

Destiny Leach                           Certified Nurse Aide

Rita Lino                                   Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Jazzmyne Mitchell                     Certified Nurse Aide

Nia Myers                                 Certified Nurse Aide

Bridget  Owusuaa                      Certified Nurse Aide

Cynthia Rolon                          Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Ellington 

Lori Thomas                             Certified Nurse Aide

Farmington 

Jessica Kelsey                          Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Hartford 

Felicia Frederick                        Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Aliyah Freeman Johnson           Certified Nurse Aide

Sandra Garrido                         Certified Nurse Aide

Dejah Glenn                             Certified Nurse Aide

Dexter Henry                            Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Leticia Henry                             Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Tamecia James                         Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Randall Leach                           Certified Nurse Aide

Dawn Lewis                              Certified Nurse Aide

Natasha McDonald                    Certified Nurse Aide

Denisha Peterson                      Certified Nurse Aide

Tia Robinson                            Certified Nurse Aide

Dyarma Rosa                            Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Nikita Santos                            Certified Nurse Aide

Eonni Whitley                            Certified Nurse Aide

Manchester 

Megan Callahan                        Certified Nurse Aide

Caitlin Mullinar                          Certified Nurse Aide

Alaysia Zaikarite                        Certified Nurse Aide

Meriden 

Crystal Donovan                       Certified Nurse Aide

New Britain 

Ashley Arias                             Certified Nurse Aide

Natoria Buxton                         Certified Nurse Aide

Patricia Gannon                         Certified Nurse Aide

Brittany Gueco                          Certified Nurse Aide

Raquel Hill                                Certified Nurse Aide

Ruth Marie Texidor                    Certified Nurse Aide

Newington 

Harley Bouchard                       Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Sandra Sacco                           Certified Nurse Aide

Shantee Torregano                   Certified Nurse Aide

Plainville 

Erica Coyne                              Certified Nurse Aide

Mackenzie Mitchell                    Certified Nurse Aide

Plantsville 

Derek Angelone                         Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Southington 

Caitlyn Gelfand                         Certified Sterile Processing Technician

Torrington 

Benjamin Black                         Certified Nurse Aide

Amy Brescia                             Certified Nurse Aide

Elizabeth Chechoski                  Certified Nurse Aide

West Hartford 

Kathleen Mayo                          Certified Nurse Aide

Hadauna Sooman                     Certified Nurse Aide

Gerald Walker                          Certified Nurse Aide