I am Amanda Fortson. I recently graduated with my associate of science degree in nursing from Middle Georgia State University. After earning a bachelor’s degree in community health from Georgia College and State University in 2015, I did not think I would be going back to school as I had many student loans. I had moved back home and began my job search and soon discovered it was nearly impossible to find open positions. I worked some part-time jobs while deciding what it was that I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Once I decided to go back to school, I had to consider the cost as I had already accumulated so many student loans while attaining my bachelor’s degree. However, I decided to take some core classes and applied for entry into the nursing program at Middle Georgia State University (MGA). After getting accepted into MGA’s Nursing Program, I worked as much as I could to pay for the classes. I made it through the first semester of nursing school and half of the second semester before I quickly realized I would need help paying for the rest of my education. I became aware of some classmates who were in the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program, so I spoke with them and reached out to a WIOA advisor. I remembered Ms. Freeman’s presentation from orientation day when I first started my nursing school journey; however, I didn’t think I would qualify, so I didn’t consider it. When I realized I would not be able to work, attend school, and be successful in the nursing program, I reached out to WIOA. They were great at making me feel welcome and were willing to work with me. I was able to qualify for the program, which took away a lot of stress and worry I had financially. The WIOA program assisted me with buying course materials, textbooks, ATI, tuition, and so much more. I quickly left my job in retail and began PRN work as a nurse extern at a local hospital to gain more experience and dive all the way into the nursing field. I was thankful to be able to continue my nursing journey with the help of WIOA. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to work with WIOA and I completed nursing school on May 11th, 2022. WIOA even stuck by my side as I studied and prepared for NCLEX. I am proud to say I officially became a registered nurse on June 22, 2022. I plan to work in pre-op. Thank you to everyone at WorkSource Middle Georgia for providing me with the tools and other financial assistance I received throughout my nursing school journey! I am so thankful and blessed to have had the pleasure of working with you all to fulfill my dream of becoming a nurse!