Right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Lilburn resident Verna Le Fleur completed her early childhood education specialist degree at Gwinnett Technical College. A seasoned educator, she was excited about incorporating her new knowledge into her work. Unfortunately, health issues prevented her from returning to the classroom at such a risky time.

While sitting at home trying to figure out what might come next, Verna received a phone call from her college advisor, who described some new programs he thought might interest her. Verna was intrigued that she would be able to enroll in Goodwill’s phlebotomy program at no cost, thanks to the generous support provided by the Anthem grant.
Verna came to Goodwill’s Pleasant Hill Career Center in November 2021 and met with Case Manager Sokia Chenevert, who reviewed the program’s details. Enthusiastic about a new career path, Verna enrolled.

From the beginning of the course, Verna connected with two classmates, and the trio developed a strong sense of camaraderie. The women supported one another and became a second family. For Verna, this encouragement was essential as she struggled to balance the demands of the class with parenthood.

Verna is also grateful for Goodwill’s unwavering commitment to her success and that of her classmates. “It was a great source of comfort knowing they would see us all the way through,” she shares.
Verna recalls that the entire cohort made a pact that there would be a 100% passing rate on the certification exam, and the group succeeded in achieving this goal – the first class to do so. The next step was to complete an externship, and like several of her peers, Verna was placed at LifeHope Labs.

Although she missed a month while battling COVID, she is catching up quickly, mainly since several of her classmates already employed with the company oversee her training. She’s performing so well that she has already been offered permanent employment when the externship ends, and she is looking forward to a successful future in her new career.