SAN ANTONIO -- Kendra Franklin and Tamika Young are women on a mission.
They say they will finish their training to become Certified Nursing Assistants and then keep right on learning.
Franklin said she would like to become a doctor. Young said she wants to inspire her children to pursue higher education and great careers.
They are both involved in a training program sponsored by Alamo Colleges.
Both women are enrolled at a west side school, but on Wednesday, they took a break from class to attend the formal ribbon cutting for the new east San Antonio campus.
It’s called the Eastside Education & Training Center and it has brought new life to an old school building.
The program is located in what used to be Pfeiffer Elementary, an SAISD school.
After a $1.5 million grant-funded upgrade, the new center is expected to welcome its first class of students on November 14.
Students who qualify will receive free tuition, books, supplies, childcare, and transportation assistance.
"They have different ones for females and males: CNA, MA, IT, welding, construction, heavy equipment worker, and things of that matter," said Richard Rodriguez, a recruiter for the program.
Rodriguez, who grew up involved in gangs and spent time in prison before turning his life around, said that this program could be just the thing to help pull people get out of crime and poverty.
“When you better yourself, as a person, period, people are going to look at you different. They have no choice but to look at you different,” Rodriguez said.
Franklin said that her inspiration to pursue the program comes from family medical issues.
“I lost three people to cancer. I want to get into the field and see what I can do to help people take better care of themselves,” Franklin said.
Meanwhile Young said that she wants her children to know they can achieve their dreams.
“I want to let them know that I can do anything, so, therefore, they can do anything. They don't need to stop at high school. They can keep going,” Young said.
There are informational sessions at the center every second Tuesday from 9 to 11 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m.
The center is at 4551 Dietrich Road, east of WW White.
The center is so new, it doesn’t have a website yet but the phone number for more information is 210-485-0240.
The west side center that has been in operation for years can be found at their official website here: http://www.alamo.edu/ewd/wetc/
(© 2016 KENS)