(INDIANAPOLIS) – Ramiza Rizvic left war-torn Bosnia for the United States with her husband and two young daughters in 1999, unable to speak much English at all.
Rizvic, 52, landed a job at National Plastics Corp. in Fort Wayne and was there for seven years before being laid off in 2014.
In the meantime, Rizvic had started English Language Learner classes in 2005 at the Anthis Career Center, which houses the Fort Wayne Community Schools Adult and Continuing Education Program.
The program is part of the Indiana Department of Workforce Development’s Adult Education network, where Hoosiers like Rizvic can earn their high school diploma or high school equivalency (HSE). Roughly 475,000 working-age adults in Indiana lack a diploma or equivalency, and DWD’s Adult Education program continues working to reduce that number.
For Rizvic, every year her English skills improved and, in 2016, she started HSE classes. While the classes proved to be a daunting challenge, Rizvic refused to give up and even sought help from a tutor.
“The teachers helped me a lot,” said Rizvic, still sporting a thick Eastern European accent but with an impressive use of the English language. “I’m very thankful for that.”
Rizvic graduated in 2017 but continued her education beyond the HSE. She completed classes to become certified as a clinical medical assistant with the hope of landing a job at one of the local health systems. Three years ago, she started in the cleaning department at Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne.
Keith Ammons, the supervisor for Environmental Services at Parkview Regional Medical Center Outpatient facilities, described Rizvic as an “excellent” employee who receives high marks from suite leaders whose areas she cleans.
“Ramiza has never called off from work and is always willing to help out in the areas needed,” Ammons said. “She will stay over past her shift if needed to get things done. All of her peers say she is a pleasant person to work with. Ramiza would be a great asset for any company or business.”
What Rizvic has accomplished makes her both proud and happy, she said.
“It wasn’t easy for me,” Rizvic said. “But I felt amazing when they told me I did it.”
Rizvic pursued the classes to become a clinical medical assistant because she said she “loves helping people.”
Regarding the Adult Education program, Rizvic highly recommends it to anyone seeking to earn a high school diploma.
“You can do it; just go and start it,” she said. “You will finish and you will be so proud after you get [the HSE].”
About the Indiana Department of Workforce Development
DWD serves the worker and the employer to ensure workplace success. DWD is committed to innovating and invigorating Indiana’s economic future by providing WorkOne Career Centers, Unemployment Insurance, Labor Market Information, Regional Workforce Strategies, and Professional Training. Through these services, DWD is able to develop a premier workforce that enables Indiana employers to flourish and entices businesses from outside our state to relocate to Indiana.