Single mom, dad of 3 get help to pursue nursing


Two School at Work graduates have received scholarships to Mercy College at St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital to continue their dreams of being registered nurses.

Luz Castillo, a single mother of two teenage boys, and Ensley Thomas, a father of three children, are both St. Elizabeth Youngstown Hospital patient-care associates and will soon be Mercy College students on the path to their dream careers.

“I just like to help other people,” Castillo said simply. “You have to like it to want to go into nursing.”

Thomas echoed her sentiment.

“I love talking with the patients,” he said. “They feel comfortable talking to me about a lot of things, and I just feel blessed about that – that’s like God’s gift.”

School at Work is a program that helps Mercy Health invest in its employees by combining education with career planning to get individuals to higher-paying positions.

“It’s a six-month educational enrichment program for employees who want to advance,” said Georgette Peters, School at Work facilitator and learning coach.

Investing in employees who want to advance is important from a Mercy Health perspective, added Paul Homick, Mercy Health Foundation Mahoning Valley president.

“It shows that we value and view our employees as our most important assets,” he said.

Read more about the program in Thursday's Vindicator or on

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