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Face of Performance

  Jill Tryon
January 2004

"You learn not to sleep" says Jill Tryon, describing her life in 2002 as a young single mother trying to get ahead. That year, when Jill decided to go back to school, her infant daughter was just 10 weeks old. She had to give up her job as a medical transcriptionist when her baby was born. But, staying at home with her newborn meant she had to apply for public assistance to help with her living expenses – not an attractive long-term option.

Jill set her sights on a 2 year college degree in a high-demand occupation, Radiological Technologist. Knowing Jill’s aspirations, a friend told her about the Bemidji Workforce Center, the local One Stop in the area. In May of 2003, Caroline Rogers, a Counselor at the Workforce Center was able to get Jill help with training costs.

Through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) dollars, she received assistance with tuition, fees, books, licensure, and support services.

Jill needed more than just funds and sleep to succeed in the program. It was a grueling one plus hour commute between her apartment in Bemidji, and the Minnesota State Community and Technical College Detroit Lakes campus where her classes were held. With the help of her mom, her sister, and a great child care provider, Jill was able to make the nearly 3 hour a day commute, study, work part-time, and provide for her child.

Jill also graduated with a 4.0 GPA and received her Associate of Science in Radiology Technology and the highest registry score of any student in her class. Immediately upon graduation, she was hired full time with benefits at the same hospital where she had worked as a transcriptionist.

Now Jill gets 8 hours of sleep most nights and relishes the time she spends with her daughter in her new home. By December 2004, Jill was making $35,000 + a year and qualified for her first home mortgage. Having her two year community college degree and owning her own place has given Jill a sense of self-sufficiency and accomplishment that she can pass along to her daughter.

Theodore Roosevelt said “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” For Jill, working in the healthcare field at North Country Regional Hospital helping the sick and injured is work worth doing. One weekend a month, Jill even travels to work on the Red Lake Indian Reservation, ensuring that the Native Americans there have access to quality medical care.
Jill Tryon
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