At five years old, Habibo Sekondo moved with her family from Kenya to the Northview Heights area in Pittsburgh. Even though she was quite young, she recalls the transition being difficult for her family.
“My parents did not speak English and did not understand America’s culture,” Habibo remembered. “School was very different, and I had to adjust. It took some time for me to learn English. As I got older, there were new obstacles, and I set new goals to achieve as I went.”
After graduating high school, Habibo decided to move away from Pittsburgh. She lived in Texas and Kentucky, where she worked difficult jobs in warehouses. After giving birth to a second child, Habibo moved back to the Northview Heights area to be near family and start working on career goals for herself.
“I knew I could do better for myself. I wanted to become a nurse and help people, but I had to start somewhere. I got a job at Burlington Coat Factory,” Habibo explained. “After I’d been there for a while, I was connected with Kristen Tsapis [from Pennsylvania Women Work] and she told me about a CNA training I could do. I knew I had to go for it.”
Habibo quit her job at Burlington, and Kristen helped her navigate the application process for a CNA program at Vincentian. Throughout the training, Kristen checked in on Habibo and helped her prepare for her final test, which she passed. Habibo is now a CNA and was hired at Vincentian shortly after completing the program.
“I am making more money now and am one step closer to my goals,” Habibo said.
Aside from the assistance Habibo received from Kristen in the Northview Heights, Pennsylvania Women Work also provided Habibo support during the holidays by providing her two small children with gifts, along with offering her assistance with transportation through our bus pass program.
To learn more about the work we are doing in the Northview Heights, contact Susan Showalter-Bucher at email@example.com.