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The Value of a Certificate

July 29, 2016 by Lori Ridgway

Keyona Natasha Smith sitting in a chair at the Arapaho Clinic

Keyona Natasha Smith

Keyona Natasha Smith spent a good portion of her life working hard at two jobs in order to support her family.   The Central Wyoming College alumna has three young children; Estrella, 11, Navea, seven and Cyatino who is four. Smith worked those two jobs for nearly eight years before deciding to take advantage of an opportunity through the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services and CWC to participate in a dental assisting program.  

“I was pregnant with my second daughter at the time and working part-time for the coroner’s office, so I wasn’t sure I could do it...but I did,” Smith said.  She said going to college helped her learn how to use computers and to communicate better.  

“I didn’t do very well taking tests in high school,” Smith said. “With the dental program, I learned to take tests better and I even passed the radiography certification test.”

The experience and knowledge she gained helped shape her future. Today, Smith works just one job at the Arapaho Clinic as a certified nursing assistant. “Even though I am not working in the dental profession right now, going to college was worth the fight to get my education. I got a lot more confident and it gave me independence,” Smith said

I am proud of how I can support my kids. My experience at CWC helped me get the job I have now - a job that I love! I get to help people here and be home when my kids are home. I couldn’t do that before I got my education. ”

Keyona Natasha Smith

Continuing with her education is a goal of Smith’s. As soon as she has the opportunity she said she will be ready to go back to school.  “I want to go back to CWC and enter the nursing program,” Smith said.