Yanelis Cruz

A Pennsylvania Refugee Success Story.

Yanelis Cruz

From Cuba, Yanelis Cruz came to the United States as a refugee more than 5 years ago. 

Soon after her arrival in Lancaster, she attended high school and earned her diploma. Later, Yanelis worked as a server in a Willow Valley restaurant. With this opportunity for customer interaction, she rapidly improved her English.

Yanelis had a keen interest in the medical field and began with the services of Greater Access to Independence for Newcomers (GAIN) in October 2008. One month later, through Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), she started an intensive three-week certified nursing assistant course in Lancaster. After completing the class, she passed her Red Cross exam. She started her job search and within a matter of weeks, Yanelis found a full-time position at an assisted living facility called HCR ManorCare in Lancaster. She is very content in her work. Yanelis says the most satisfying aspect of her job is that she is able to help others on a daily basis.