By: Claribel Almonte
MET INC. Grafton, ND
Gladys Medina was a migrant farm worker migrating from Texas to North Dakota every year since she was a baby. Her parents traveled 30 hours to Minto, ND where they would work in the sugar beet fields all summer long. Gladys was 14 when she began working twelve-hour days Monday through Friday all summer long. Once the summer was over Gladys would work harvesting potatoes beginning in September and ending in October. Gladys worked farm work until she was 25 years old. It was when she was pumping gas at Simonson’s Gas Station in Grafton, ND when she saw a flyer for an upcoming CNA class. Gladys knew she was ready for a change and a better career for herself. She started with getting her GED first and as soon as she finished that, she came into our office. We discussed the program with Gladys and saw she had a positive attitude and was eager to start the CNA program. Gladys was enrolled in the CNA class and within 3 weeks, she was a Certified Nurse Assistant. She immediately found employment helping the elderly at Sunset Lutheran Home. Once Gladys was hired to work full time, it was then when she knew she had to stop following her parents and stop being a migrant. Gladys moved from Minto to Grafton to be closer to the new place of employment which she loved working at. She has been there happily for three years and recently got a call from Good Samaritan in Park River offering her a leadership position. Gladys called us with great joy to let us know she took the offer and would be moving to Park River to take advantage of the opportunity she was given. Gladys has come a long way from working in the fields to now working with the elderly who can no longer care for themselves. Gladys enjoys long conversations with all of her patients and most importantly the environment in which she spends 12 to 14 hours a day. We are very proud of Gladys and know that she has come a very long way from being 14 and picking out weeds in the sugar beet fields. She now holds a leadership position at Good Samaritan and is training newcomers to take as much pride in the work they do just like she does.