Hometown: Conakry, Guinea, West Africa
Center: Blue Ridge
Dates enrolled: 9/25/2018 – 8/27/2020
Training: Clinical Medical Assistant, Certified Nursing Assistant
Oumou Fofana grew up in Conakry, the capital city of Guinea in West Africa. When she was 16 years old, she and her brother made their way to the United States. They lived in Stafford, VA, and fortunately, they were both able to graduate from high school, doing so in 2016. Following graduation, Oumou did not have the means to continue her education, so she began working two jobs, one at a restaurant. She knew that this was not the life she wanted, and she began looking for avenues to earn further education. Growing up, Oumou always had an interest in helping others, so she knew that was a must for her new career.
Oumou learned about Job Corps, and when she discovered that there was a center in Virginia that offered health care trades, she decided to apply. During her time at Blue Ridge Job Corps, Oumou took full advantage of the training, receiving certifications in CMA, CNA, OPAC-Alpha filing, CPR/First Aid, and HIPAA. She was also involved in a variety of extracurricular and community service activities with organizations such as Feeding America, Mt. Pleasant Museum, Marion Elementary School, Smyth County Chamber of Commerce, and Valley Rehab. & Nursing. Upon completing CMA, she practiced those skills through an internship at Mel Leaman Free Clinic, where she accumulated nearly 200 hours of work experience.
Since leaving Job Corps, Oumou is working as a CNA at Carrington Place in Rural Retreat, VA, and she plans to further her education and become an LPN or RN. “Something that I have learned from experience is to stop making excuses and go for what you want, work hard, dream big, and never give up. If you are wise and determined you can achieve whatever you want.”