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Candid photo of Brianna Robinson hugging Linh Luangrath in front of stage

This Certified Nursing Assistant Program Helps Families Earn More

PUBLISHED: Jan 13, 2024

Opportunity Junction’s Certified Nursing Assistant Program helps families earn more through skills-training classes so job-seekers can land careers in healthcare and other in-demand fields. 

“Opportunity Junction helped me build a foundation to do what I love, and for my children to have a brighter future.”

– Lihn Luangrath, Certified Nursing Assistant, Opportunity Junction Graduate

Linh Luangrath always had a way of making people feel comfortable. Her charisma and charm was well-suited for life as a bartender at her neighborhood bar in Martinez. But after 8 years working late nights, she was missing out on quality time with her kids. She started to wonder if it was time to pursue a different path.

“Becoming a nurse had been a dream of mine ever since I was a kid. But I wondered, ‘Is it too late for me to start a whole new career?’” 

Linh started researching ways to get into healthcare and came across Opportunity Junction’s Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) program. 

Brianna Robinson meets folks like Linh every day as CEO of Opportunity Junction, a Tipping Point grantee that helps job seekers develop the skills and confidence to launch careers that lead to financial security.

“The folks who come to us know how to work hard. But they’re often stuck working long hours, with pay that doesn’t match their drive.”

– Brianna Robinson, CEO of Opportunity Junction

Opportunity Junction has been helping students develop the skills and confidence to launch into better careers since 2000. Their administrative career training program has helped 86% of the students land careers in the field.  But landing a job isn’t the end of the journey. 

“We wanted to help our students advocate for raises or apply for promotions, so they could go even further in their careers. So in 2018, we kicked off work with Tipping Point and launched a career coaching model.” 

Opportunity Junction took what they learned in their partnership with Tipping Point to build out a healthcare pathway to help students become Certified Nursing Assistants. Linh was one of those students. Opportunity Junction provided a full scholarship for her to complete the program.

“You could tell the teachers really cared. I was getting straight A’s in all my classes – it was exhilarating! It just sparked a flare in me, like, ‘This is what I’m meant to do.’” 

After finishing the CNA program, Linh began working as a home health aide. Her spark for learning led her to apply to nursing school. “My experience with the CNA program made me believe I could do it,” she said. 

After graduating nursing school, Linh landed a job as a nurse in home health. Each day, she brings that same level of warmth she had behind the bar to her patients at home. Now, she gets off work in time to pick her kids up from school and help them with their homework. 

“Opportunity Junction helped me build a foundation to do what I love, and for my children to have a brighter future.” 

Linh and Brianna spoke at Tipping Point’s annual Breakfast on December 8, 2023 to honor Opportunity Junction’s work in the community. The Tipping Point Breakfast is an opportunity for our grantee community to share their exemplary work that builds a better Bay Area for us all. We are honored to share Linh and Brianna’s stories and highlight Opportunity Junction’s success helping families earn enough to live and thrive here. Learn more about Tipping Point’s impact, and view additional stories highlighted at the Breakfast, including from grantees Izzi Early Education and Improve Your Tomorrow.

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