CWC breaks down educational barriers

JACKSON, Wyo. — Alejandra Jacobo is one of CWC Jackson’s first Latina nursing program students, and that’s no small feat.

Like many young, Latina, first-generation students, Jacobo faced barriers that almost prevented her from going to college. No one helped her apply. She didn’t know how, nor did anyone in her family. Admissions counselors would tell her “to do all these things,” but she didn’t know what they meant and no one explained. Application and admission information was always presented in a language that, while she speaks understands well, is not her first. College seemed out of reach.

But Jacobo is now on track to getting a college degree and becoming a nurse, thanks to CWC Jackson’s nursing program. In two years, she’ll be a certified nurse, hopefully at St. John’s Medical Center. CWC Jackson helped break down some of those barriers, and Jacobo says she has felt supported since day one.

“I wouldn’t be doing this without CWC,” she says.

Just two months into the program, Jacobo still has a long road ahead of her. It will take her two years, countless pages of reading, and several clinical rotations where she’ll get hands-on experience. She’s also a mother of two young kids, and is constantly trying to strike a balance between school and family. But her motive is clear is set and her resolve is steady.

“My goal is to become a nurse,” she says. “I know it’s going to help me financially, contribute to the community, and help my kids get a higher education.”

Jacobo hopes she can use her nursing degree to bring another Spanish-speaking voice into the healthcare system. Healthcare is already intimidating, and doubly so when your providers don’t speak your native language.

“I want to help educate Hispanic people about health, and translate,” Jacobo says. “It’s one of the ways that I can contribute to the community.”

Jacobo wants to work in a high-pressure environment — the ER, ICU, OR. She likes the excitement, and she especially likes the feeling of having helped save a life.

As one of the first, if not the first, Latina students to go through CWC’s nursing program Jacobo says she’s grateful for the many resources and endless support CWC has offered her in her journey thus far.

She’s also proud of how far she’s come, and optimistic about her future.

“It’s a big deal to me,” she says. “I don’t feel pressure, but it motivates me even more to finish.”

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