Former Career Services program participant receives national recognition
Cherokee Nation citizen and Licensed Practical Nurse Dora Luna is receiving national recognition for her successes in the health care field after participating in Cherokee Nation Career Services’ employment and training programs.
The National Indian and Native American Employment and Training Conference chose Luna, of Claremore, as this year’s Outstanding Participant. Only one candidate from across the U.S. is chosen for the award each year.
Luna first sought assistance from Cherokee Nation Career Services in 2015 when, as a single parent with three children, she found herself struggling to support her family and seeking a new career path. With the help of the tribe’s Career Services department, Luna received a grant for dislocated workers and enrolled at Northeast Technology Center in Pryor, where she became a certified nurse aide in 2015.
“I’d always wanted to get into the health care field or, more specifically, become a registered nurse, with the end dream job being working for my tribe within a hospital or clinic,” Luna said. “It has been a long journey, and I could not have accomplished it without the help of Cherokee Nation.”
When Luna was accepted into Northeast Technology Center’s Practical Nursing Program in November 2016, the Cherokee Nation Career Services vocational training program helped cover the costs. She found a health care job in the Pryor area, and in March 2018, earned her LPN license. She is now continuing her education and plans to become a registered nurse.
“The vocational training program continues to be extremely beneficial for clients who are engaging their chosen career paths,” Career Services Executive Director Diane Kelley said. “Through the vocational training program, participants have an opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they will need in the workforce through classroom training and hands-on experience. Dora’s recognition by the National Indian and Native American Employment and Training Conference is proof that the tribe’s employment and training programs are a great benefit to Cherokee citizens.”
Luna will be honored by the NINAETC during a luncheon Wednesday, April 11, in Louisiana.
The National Indian and Native American Employment and Training Conference was established in 1979 and is the largest and most representative national employment and training association for Native Americans.
Cherokee Nation’s Career Services department develops and encourages tribal citizens to achieve and maintain work habits and skills that promote employability and self-sufficiency through education, training, rehabilitation and support services. For more information, call 918-453-5555 or log on to www.cherokee.org/Services/Career/Office-Locations for a list of Career Services office locations throughout the Cherokee Nation’s 14 counties.