Sun. May 19th, 2024

Champions of Change: How Daughters of Zion’s Remarkable Impact is Changing Lives with the Family First Community Grant

January 2023 marked a significant milestone for Daughters of Zion as they were granted the prestigious Family First Community Grant by the Tennessee Department of Human Services. Since then, this remarkable non-profit organization has rapidly transformed the lives of numerous individuals in Shelby County through its outstanding achievements and unwavering commitment to advancing the lives of low-income residents and their children. 


Within just seven months of receiving the grant, Daughters of Zion has already celebrated the graduation of two classes from their groundbreaking Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. This program has proven to be a life-changing experience for the 16 program participants who have successfully completed the rigorous five-week training. 


Certified Nursing Assistants play a critical role in our healthcare system, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020, the mean annual wage for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) in the United States was $30,720 and because in the state of Tennessee,  you can’t pursue a nursing degree without having a CNA license and since the average nursing salary in the United States is $80,010, Daughters of Zion motivates all of its students to enroll in nursing school after graduating from their CNA program.


When asked how their program operates at such an accelerated pace while achieving extraordinary results, Daughters of Zion, Program Coordinator Natalee Peart stated, “ I have to echo the sentiment of our Executive Director, Dr. Kiner who always gives credit to the Department of Human Services Commissioner Clarence H. Carter, the 2Gen team, Clyde Stith, Krista Grey, and Jodi Myers and their entire team who have given us the information and resources to ensure the flawless execution of this remarkable grant.”


The students enrolled in Daughters of Zion’s CNA program have shown great appreciation for how Daughters of Zion does everything possible to make it impossible for them to fail by providing free transportation, child care, and education at low or no cost.”


After waiting two years to enter a CNA program, reflecting on her own experience, Katayzia Powell stated, “Education at no cost, free transportation, and child care” were the things she received from the Daughters of Zion CNA program she knew she could not have received from any other CNA program in the area. She added, “If it wasn’t for the childcare,  I wouldn’t have been able to attend or complete class.”


Janell Jefferson said she’s been looking to find the right CNA program for “ a few years “ and the fact that she “ didn’t have to find a sitter” for her children was instrumental in her being about to graduate because Daughters of Zion two-generational approach allows the children to be on campus to get tutoring and childcare services while their parents are in class.


Jonneika Walker who also had been waiting  to find the right CNA program is referring everybody to Daughter of Zion’s CNA program exclaiming, “ I have referred 3 people with the information to sign up and get started “ 


Daughters of Zion has modestly established itself as a symbol of hope and empowerment within  West Tennessee. Through their steadfast dedication to education, support services, and creating new opportunities for low-income residents, this remarkable non-profit organization continues to demonstrate its extraordinary value. Their track record of transforming lives and yielding an extraordinary Return On Investment sets them on a steady path of taking a leading role among Tennessee non-profit organizations. 

Daughters of Zion has two remaining Family First CNA classes scheduled for 2023 – August  7 and October 2  to enroll call 901-260-9933.




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