When Delonte Carter first took his entrance exam for nursing school, he was unprepared. He had not taken arithmetic for several years and math turned out to be a key component of the exam. He ended up failing his first attempt—but he knew he had to try again.
Carter was already part of the staff at Sunrise of Poland, a senior living facility in northeastern Ohio. He had been working there for a long time and was popular with patients. As a lead Care Manager, he served to help residents with their personal care and the activities of daily living. He was truly dedicated. When the Maintenance Director was promoted, he stepped in to help make sure that the place stayed clean, despite the fact that this was not in his job description.
Still, Carter felt like he wasn’t doing enough to assist the elderly. He spoke with Sunrise’s Executive Director, Kerry Collins Smith, for advice.
“I want to do more,” Carter told Smith, not entirely certain what “doing more” would entail.
Over the course of the conversation, they decided that a career in nursing would be the logical next step for Carter to take. Yet, once he had been stricken with failure, he wasn’t sure who to turn to. Smith suggested he try to find a tutor who could help him brush up on his math. He ended up finding one in the most unlikely of places.
Turns out that there was a tutor right in the care facility but it wasn’t one of the staff members, it was a resident.
Jean Williams, is a retired schoolteacher with a knack for tutoring. When Carter and Smith found out about this, they asked her for help and she obliged.
Carter spent as much time working with Williams as possible. Despite her age and friendly demeanor, Williams was no pushover. When working with Carter, she didn’t cut him any slack and would always give him homework to get done between sessions. This tough love turned out to be just what Carter needed.
On the day of the test, Carter defied expectations and ended up passing with flying colors! From there, he started nursing school, graduated, and became a licensed nurse. He ended up returning to Sunrise for his nursing position—where the first resident he provided care for was none other than Williams. Things really came full circle for Carter!
Yet Carter’s journey is far from over. On his first day back at Sunrise, Smith asked him what he wanted to do next. He responded by saying that he wanted to become Executive Director himself someday. Here’s hoping that Carter achieves those dreams!