National Caregivers Day – Spotlight on Carrie Candelario
February 18 is National Caregivers Day, and we acknowledge and thank ALL of our dedicated and professional care partners at UMRC & Porter Hills who provide outstanding care and services for the older adults we serve across the state. Today’s blog features Carrie Candelario, Neighborhood Coordinator at Kresge Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center at our Chelsea Retirement Community campus. She recently received a Team Member Scholarship, part of the UMRC & Porter Hills Foundation’s Team Member Support Services program. Carrie Candelario had plans to become a nurse, but quit nursing school to take care of her mom who had a stroke. Carrie worked as a waitress instead, but never gave up on her dream. Her mom is now completely healed and able to walk and talk again, Carrie shares. “After helping her, I knew I wanted to be in the healthcare field.” Carrie completed training to be a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and got her job at the Kresge Center two years ago – the same day the restaurant where she had been working closed due to COVID-19. “It’s my first time working in healthcare,” says Carrie. “I didn’t really know what it would be like, but I really love doing this job and working with older adults. It’s become a passion of mine. Now, seeing what the nurses do, that’s what I want to do.” Carrie recently received a Team Member Scholarship from the UMRC & Porter Hills Foundation – part of the Team Member Support Services program. Thanks to this scholarship opportunity, she can now complete what she started, taking classes at Jackson College to become an RN. “Thank you so much for accepting me for the education scholarship,” says Carrie. “I have been over the top excited for the opportunity to finish my college degree and look forward to graduating,” says Carrie. “My dream is to be an RN, and you are making my dreams come true. Thank you!” She also credits Dick Kraft, one of the residents she cared for at Kresge Center before his passing, for his encouragement. “He really nudged me into pursuing my nurse’s degree.” Carrie says her favorite part of her job is “connecting with the residents. They just light up and they’re so happy to see me – that feeling is the best part of my job, the best feeling in the world.” The deadline for the next round of Team Member Scholarship applications is March 1, 2022. To learn more, contact Sheri Hardcastle at 734.433.1000 ext. 7502 or Leah Tremaine at 616.577.2297. Or visit https://foundation.mybrio.org/employee-support/ to learn more about supporting the UMRC & Porter Hills Foundation’s Team Member Scholarship program.