The Good Fight

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Carl Jackson has been an active member of the Southeast Ministry family for the past two years. Carl, who has the reputation of having a consistent, positive demeanor, usually responds, “I’m blessed,” when asked how he is doing. Aside from why Carl usually feels this way, he now has another reason to feel as though he is blessed.

Carl has recently completed the dialysis technician program at the University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC-CC). “I feel that Carl has worked very hard  to get his life together, and has made good and positive use of the assistance  we have extended to him,” said Mr. Paul Ruffins, SEM’s Director of Workforce Academics.

The dialysis technician program at UDC-CC is a 120-hour program that prepares learners for employment in a hemodialysis unit. This career pathway covers intricate subjects such as normal and abnormal renal anatomy and physiology, and the principles of dialysis. Carl most certainly worked very hard to complete the program.

When asked how he began the program, Carl stated, “I joined the program 3 months ago because I lost my job. I didn’t know where to go or what to do. I was skeptical at first because I have been through so many programs receiving certifications. As I met the instructors, they gained my confidence by showing interest in who I am.”

Upon completing the dialysis technician program, Carl earned a position as a volunteer for Medstar at Georgetown University Hospital, however he needed $37.10 for a background check before he could begin working. “If he is accepted, this could lead to a real $50,000 a year job,” said Mr. Ruffins.

With SEM’s help, Carl was able to get the necessary money to complete his background check. SEM’s Executive Director, Valarie Ashley expressed, “everyone loves Carl, he is definitely a hard worker. Over the past few years we have helped Carl get steel-toed boots for one job, and helped with his uniform costs for another. He is always upbeat and a great example for everyone in our building. If one does not have $37.10 for a background check, does that mean they lose the opportunity?”

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