Crystal's Phenomenal Journey to Achieve Her Goals
My name is Crystal and I am a 32-year-old woman on PWD Benefits. I was a Licensed Practical Nurse and completed my program in 2007, and was licensed to work in March 2008. I worked for almost 2 years before I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Lupus Cerebritis. My treatment included Chemotherapy and heavy steroids for the next 6 years. During this time after a severe Lupus flair and a manic episode, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. After discharge, I began rehabilitation and was referred to the mental health team where I participated in the required therapy programs. I regained my memory, and my cognitive capacity is back to the pre-Lupus time along with the necessary treatment, therapy and current medication.
I had been working part-time hours as Health Care Aide since 2016. My employment goal was to work in my previous profession as LPN. I lost my license and as per the College of Practical Nursing, I had to redo the Access Program and write the exam again to become licensed.
I started this journey with WorkBC Whalley about 2 years ago and it was the best decision I could have ever made. I started by doing personality tests and it was a wonderful opportunity for me to learn so much about myself. WorkBC Whalley helped me research different colleges to pursue the LPN program again with regard to the cost of tuition, resources such as distance and the reputation of the school. I chose Vancouver Community College. WorkBC Whalley worked with me individually helping me understand the strengths I could use to get me through this program. I did an evaluation of my mental health to see if I was up for the challenge. Looking back, it sounds like a lot of work but I’ll never regret it.
Next, I was assigned a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor who guided me through the entire process. I gathered the information for the school, such as prerequisites, mileage, gas, tuition, books, parking, school supplies, laptop, etc. I contributed a few finances but WorkBC Whalley handled the majority of things. I was referred to Assistive Technology Services and I was funded for a laptop so I could take notes at school, they also provided a program called Dragon with a headpiece, and a smart pen. Dragon enabled me to speak to my computer and it would type my notes for me. The smart pen could read my written notes and make a digital copy of them, as well as also take audio. I was also provided with the Microsoft program so that I could have Word on my computer for the duration of this program. WorkBC Whalley funded costs for tuition, books, supplies, transportation, shoes, and fees for the LPN Licensing and Examination. I successfully completed my LPN program at VCC on April 22, 2022, and I am appearing for interviews currently. I owe all my thanks to WorkBC Whalley. I could not have done it alone and WorkBC Whalley not only helped me financially but having the staff supports available at every step of the way also helped me with my anxiety. Instead of giving me the whole picture, I was supported step by step, and the process became manageable and not as scary.
Thank you, WorkBC, for all your support. If anyone else is thinking of taking the steps to pursue a career goal I highly recommend WorkBC Whalley and the process they take you on. They taught me a lot about myself, my passions, goals and purpose in life.