Last fall, I shared Megan’s story with you. Megan, who began as a CNA, is currently an LPN, and is pursuing her RN credential, is only one of many employees who have received assistance from Immanuel’s Employee Education fund. I’ve recently begun serving on the committee that helps decide how to distribute these funds. That means that each semester, I will look at applications from employees who have asked for funds from Immanuel to help them reach their educational goals. While I haven’t yet seen any applications, through conversations with colleagues I’ve learned that these are some of the reasons people apply for assistance from our fund:
- They never had a chance to finish college as traditional-aged students and are going back now that they have the time and some financial assistance
- They want to gain an additional credential in their work area (i.e. an LPN studying to be an RN)
- They are traditional-aged students who work part-time at Immanuel and/or work full time during school breaks
- They want to learn a skill or explore a subject they’re interested in but never had a chance to pursue before (i.e. art)
All of these reasons for going back to school suggest that the applicant has hope. The student returning as a working adult to a degree program he or she started some years before, or to a new degree program that’s a bitter fit with their life now, hopes that their learning will enrich their life. That enrichment might be financial or simply personal, but almost everyone embarking on a degree does so out of hope. The student returning for an additional job credential does so because they believe that it will better equip them to serve current and future residents. Even the non-degree-seeking student who takes an art class simply because they’re interested does so because they believe it will make a positive difference in their life.
Each of these reasons for applying for education funding implies hope for a future that is both different and better than the present. I’d also like to point out that taking action implying hope for a better future doesn’t imply that a person’s current situation is bad. Employees who seek additional education do so because they want something different, and they are willing to give what it takes to achieve their goals. An LPN studying to be an RN is probably doing so because she enjoys nursing and wants to do it at a higher level. She hopes that by obtaining another credential, she will be to provide a different level of service to both the residents she serves and the organization. She also likely hopes that she will increase her earning potential to create more opportunities for herself and her family.
Hope is a powerful motivator. It keeps us going even when things are difficult. When you give to the employee education fund, you give the gift of hope to employees who want to make both their own lives and this organization stronger. Your gifts contribute to the culture of hope we’re creating here at Immanuel. Thank you for being part of it.