New scholarship program paves path for adults of color to launch health care careers Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Oct. 01, 2015 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- Catholic Charities is partnering with Agrace Hospice & Palliative Care and Ryan Brothers Ambulance Service in the launch of a new scholarship for adults of color who want to become a certified nursing assistant (CNA) or an emergency medical technician (EMT).

The program is called "Collaboration for the Calling" and focuses on creating a workforce that is as diverse as the people they serve throughout southern Wisconsin.

Begun by Agrace

Collaboration for the Calling scholarships are an expansion of a program Agrace launched earlier this year for disadvantaged students of color who recently graduated from high school.

"The feedback Agrace heard from our high school CNA scholars program was so positive that we immediately began to look for ways to expand our efforts to include adults," said Lynne Myers, president and CEO of Agrace.

"There is an important role for the business community to play in opening up career opportunities for individuals who may not have previously had an ability to pursue higher education. I am delighted to have found like-minded organizations in Madison who are willing to join Agrace in these efforts."

Collaborative program

Collaboration for the Calling scholarships pay for adults of color to learn, train, and prepare to work at one of the three sponsor organizations after they finish their education through Madison College.

Upon the students' certification, Agrace and Catholic Charities will hire CNAs, and Ryan Brothers Ambulance will hire EMTs. These positions are often the first step on the path to more advanced jobs in health care, such as nursing and paramedics.

Catholic Charities will be mentoring adult students starting in January 2016 with plans to hire CNAs as job openings occur in various services including their adult day center, companion care, supportive living, and youth living alternatives. They also will be referring participants to ElderSpan Management for the assisted living facility at All Saints Neighborhood.

"Catholic Charities is proud to partner with Agrace and Ryan Brothers in responding to solving community needs," said Jackson Fonder, Catholic Charities Madison president and CEO.

"This collaboration allows us the opportunity to enhance our commitment to racial minorities and address the disparities they face. By assisting participants in securing meaningful employment, we can help them lead better lives."

"Ryan Brothers Ambulance is proud to be able to contribute to this collective effort of expanding opportunities and providing new career possibilities. Health care is in need of an ever-expanding workforce and emergency medical services is an excellent starting point to build a career or progress into the higher levels within health care," said Patrick Ryan, president and CFO of Ryan Brothers Ambulance.

"We are committed to enhancing the diversity of our workforce and believe that providing opportunities to persons who are underrepresented in the EMS field is a significant step in reflecting the communities we serve."

For more information and the scholarship program application, contact Alia Dayne at Agrace at 608-327-7236 or visit Application deadline is November 2, 2015. The scholarships are funded through the Agrace Foundation.

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