Samantha Raines
Samantha Raines, Blaine

With two small children and college loan debt, Samantha Raines found herself drifting between low-wage retail jobs and unemployment. She was receiving welfare benefits when referred to the Anoka County career pathways program.  Working with her pathways navigator, Samantha gained office and administrative skills and certifications and was quickly offered a paid internship at the National Sports Center in Blaine, where she was eventually hired. Samantha nearly doubled her salary and no longer needs government assistance.

Mekuanent Kassa, Minneapolis

Mekuanent Kassa learned English and earned a nursing assistant certification through the International Institute of Minnesota’s College Readiness Academy.  He then simultaneously worked in nursing homes while continuing his education to become a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). Mekuanent continues to take courses in his free time and hopes to become a Registered Nurse.