Sun. May 19th, 2024

Families First Participants – 51 Year Old Mother and 28 Year Old Daughter Make History as they Graduate Together from Daughters of Zion’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Program



In an inspiring turn of events, Yvette Jones and her daughter Yavon McLean have become the first mother-daughter duo to graduate together from the Families First Grantee – Daughters of Zion Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. The two women defied expectations and embarked on this educational journey to uplift and motivate each other to attend the Daughters of Zion Fall 2023 cohort, proving that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams.


Initially hesitant, Yvette Jones took the leap after her daughter encouraged her to join the program. The challenging and exciting journey brought them closer, and with their unwavering determination, they overcame obstacles every step of the way. Despite encountering moments of doubt and fatigue during Daughters of Zion & William and Johnson Career College’s rigorous 5-week CNA program, this determined duo drew strength from their unwavering faith and support system. By motivating and uplifting each other, as well as seeking guidance from a higher power, they triumphantly persevered through the challenges.


The exceptional nature of their achievement is further highlighted by the fact that the second-generation program in the state of Tennessee was primarily intended for parents and their children to learn together. However, Yvette and Yavon took this concept to new heights, as both qualified for the Families First program as adult participants thus inspiring even their classmates with their extraordinary commitment to education.


This life-changing opportunity was made possible by Family First grantee – Daughters of Zion, who provided support and resources for Yvette’s career transition after a layoff. Recognizing the financial barriers many face, the programs offered free classes and tutoring services, ensuring that financial constraints didn’t hinder those with a genuine desire to learn and grow.


Expressing their gratitude towards Bill Lee- Governor of Tennessee; Clarence Carter – the Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Human Services; and the Family First Program staff, Yvette and Yavon want to convey a heartfelt thank you. They commend the belief they were shown, the opportunity that was presented to them, and the Daughters of Zion staff dedication to their success. They view the Daughters of Zion program, which has graduated 35 Families First CNA students in 2023 alone, as an inspiration and a chance to make a difference within their community.


Yvette Jones, at the age of 51, and her daughter Yavon McLean, at the age of 28, have shattered stereotypes and proven that age is not a deterrent when it comes to pursuing one’s dreams. Their remarkable achievement serves as a powerful reminder that determination, support, and access to education can unlock boundless possibilities.


Congratulations to this exceptional mother-daughter duo for a truly awe-inspiring accomplishment!

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