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Mountain Projects community success story: Kayla Cothern

“As a single mother of two little girls, I doubted time and time again that I could possibly make it through nursing school on my own. There were many trials and errors along the way, with finances being one of the major struggles.

“I was not aware of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and the Finish Line Grant until my third semester of nursing school. Although I was well into my nursing school experience, WIOA helped me more than I can ever say or repay. Not only did WIOA help me pay for my schooling, but it also reimbursed me for gas used to travel to training.”

Too often, financial emergencies like unexpected healthcare costs, childcare expenses, or car breakdowns prevent community college students who are on the cusp of completion from reaching that milestone. On July 12, 2018, Gov. Roy Cooper announced the Finish Line Grants program to help community college students complete their training when facing unforeseen challenges.

The federal WIOA is designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training, and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Congress passed the Act with a wide bipartisan majority; it is the first legislative reform of the public workforce system since 1998.

“The Finish Line Grant helped me pay my rent and utilities. These two services alleviate some of the stress for struggling students so that they can get through school and continue to a successful career. Again, I cannot thank the people who have helped me along the way enough.”

Kayla graduated from Haywood Community College last May and accepted a full-time nursing position with a local employer. She gives thanks to Mountain Projects and her case worker for the support provided.

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