Diamond Rodgers from McKeesport is 18 years old. Her favorite quote is “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.”

A year and a half ago she made a decision to keep her mind active and engaged in an educational pursuit. She was living in Brooklyn, N.Y. and dropped out of high school after her junior year.


She was homesick and wanted to come back to Pittsburgh. She knew she wanted to finish high school so her family encouraged her to look online for a program. She found the Pittsburgh Job Corps.

On March 17, 2009, Rodgers enrolled in the GED and Health Occupations program at Job Corps. Since then she has earned her GED and her certified nursing assistant certificate. Now she works as a CNA at the Commons at Squirrel Hill and is in Job Corps’ college program at CCAC.

This is her second semester striving to become a respiratory therapist. “Both my aunt and my mother are registered nurses so I want to be like them and work in the medical field.

“Pittsburgh Job Corps paid for my room and board on center, for my CNA exam, and all tuition and fees at the college. More important for me, the staff nurtured me. Everybody at Job Corps took me under their wing, kept me on my toes. As my instructor, Aretha Meggett told us on the first day, ‘this training is no joke. You are dealing with people’s lives.’ I knew she was right. This is a demanding field but something that I love. When I complete my associate’s degree I want to further my education. I plan to move back to New York and work on a bachelor’s degree and then my master’s in science or one of the health fields. My life has direction and I want to keep going on this career path.”

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