Community Stories, Eden Updates

Finding Success Through Resilience and Determination

May 2, 2023

It’s always inspiring to see someone who achieves success, thanks to resilience and determination to overcome hardships in life. And that’s why we are delighted to celebrate Shamarea Bailey, one of our Rivertown Place residents, who is currently a Licensed Vocational Nursing student, on track to become a nurse in less than 18 months.

For this single mother of two, the path to her upcoming success was not easy. When she moved to Rivertown Place in the middle of the pandemic, she struggled to even buy enough food. Fortunately, she was able to rely on our weekly food distribution program, which her school-aged child would supplement with extra snacks from the after-school program.

“When I introduced Shamarea to Eden Housing’s Digital Literacy Program, she was excited and willing to learn these new skills,” says Frank Gatdula, Resident Service Coordinator at Rivertown Place/West Rivertown.

Every student who completes the six-week program receives a free brand-new laptop, and Shamarea used hers to browse the internet to look for opportunities.

That’s where her success story began, with the goal of continuing her education. Shamarea began researching schools that offered grants to help finance classes for low-income residents. When she found one, she applied immediately and was subsequently accepted into the LVN program.

The free laptop has been instrumental in her road to success ever since, as she now uses it for her nursing school coursework. Shamarea frequently expresses her gratitude for the resident services program at Rivertown Place; instructor Davina Gibson, who helped her earn her free computer; and everyone who has offered the support and guidance needed to achieve her goal.

“We are proud to have provided the support, but realize it was her determination that has made it happen,” says Frank. “We can’t wait to see Shamarea become a full-fledged nurse.”