Meet Rhonda Walby
Rhonda Walby credits an algorithm for leading her to Goodwill. A native Georgian, Rhonda started working in healthcare while in high school and following graduation, held positions in phlebotomy and then cardiology in hospital settings south of Atlanta. As her career continued, she became a certified nursing assistant (CNA), and then stepped away from the workforce to care for her children.
When Rhonda’s marriage ended, she needed to get back to work to support her family. Moving to North Georgia, she decided retail would be a good place to start and found work as a cashier. After positions at several major chains, she felt the call to return to healthcare and knew she would have to become certified to pursue the positions she desired. As she began her search for certification programs, an algorithm caused an ad for Advanced Medical Academy to pop up on her phone. She made an inquiry and learned that she would be eligible for SNAP Works funding which would allow her to earn her certification at no cost.
In late September 2021, Advanced Medical Academy referred Rhonda to Goodwill’s Cornelia Career Center, where she met Case Manager Sherry Burns, who assisted her with navigating the funding process. While the SNAP Works funding was not available as expected, the generosity of Goodwill donors allowed Rhonda to receive mission funding to cover the costs of the program. When Rhonda enrolled, she found the support Sherry provided to be critical to her success. In addition to her inspiring words, Sherry directed Rhonda to many community resources to help during this time of career transition. Rhonda also received assistance from Employment Specialist Nicole Hardin, who educated her about developing a resume that would get noticed.
Rhonda was placed at Commerce Pain Management for her clinical rotation and received an offer to remain with the company following her graduation. She passed her certification exam on November 11th and began full-time employment on November 30th.
As she celebrated 120 days on the job, Rhonda reflected that she is very happy to be back in healthcare, because she has a passion for helping others. She enjoys working for a small, family-oriented company and appreciates her schedule which allows for work-life balance. As she looks to the future, Rhonda is considering medical assisting, but for now, she is pleased to be able to say for the first time in a long time, she loves her job.