Karren, mum of 4 children, had always wanted to be a nurse, but it seemed like an impossible dream.

“I’ve been on my own for 2 and a half years. I’m on a benefit with all  the stigma attached to that. I was doing part-time accounting from home but it wasn’t where I wanted to be in the long-term,” she said.

Eager to be off government support, Karren attended a Kingdom Resources’ budgeting course hosted by SWAP (Single Women As Parents) and ticked the box to attend a women’s pre-employment course, Taking the First Step, also run by Kingdom Resources.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to step outside your comfort zone”

“On the first day of the course I was overwhelmed,” explained Karren. “It’s an amazing opportunity to step outside your comfort zone … to get to know who you are, what motivates you, how you function and what you have to offer. I had to take off my ‘mother
coat’ and see what was underneath it.

Karren explained that during the course, the names of jobs were laid out over the floor
and you picked up those which interested you.

“All the ones I selected were to do  with teaching and nursing. I was thinking and praying about what I should do, when Lisa [the tutor] asked us what our next step was. She was great at keeping us on track and making us accountable. I said I’d go to Polytechnic and find out about nursing.”

Karen quickly enrolled on a 3 month pre-health course. “I especially liked the science class. I had a big smile on my face and loved what I was learning,” explained Karren. The next step was enrolling for a full-time nursing degree.

“I said, OK God, if it’s where I’m supposed to be, you’ll make it happen. If there aren’t people that can help me with child care, it’s not meant to be,” she said. “I was blown away by offers of help.”

Six months later, the course is going well, but it’s certainly been a big learning curve both personally and professionally for Karren.  It’s not been easy, but she’s learned to juggle children’s commitments,household chores and  studying. “Priorities change. My kids are healthy and happy and they’re so proud of me and respect me much more. I feel I’m a really good role model for them”.

Taking the First Step was absolutely worthwhile,” said Karren. “It was the start of re-finding me and following my passion. “The nursing course is totally do-able, and if I can do it with my four kids, so can other mums in similar positions if they want to follow their own dream.”