Marissa Machado, Class of 2007

Being able to advocate for and effect policy change in the health care arena is quite a challenge. As a health policy researcher, I am grateful to go to a job that I know has challenges waiting for me each day. Because the home health care industry is ever-evolving and constantly progressing, it is important that I continue to evolve along with it. One of my work duties requires that I read an average of six hours each day to decipher the intent of proposed laws. I also provide guidance and interpret policy for our 1300-member organization. With the storm of changes occurring in the health care industry, my job is nothing to be reckoned with unless you are armed with a grateful heart.

My company keeps a card in our lobby area that says, “My life expands inside my grateful heart.” Today I am grateful for my health, my children and the confidence I gained in Free Minds. At the time that I began Free Minds, I had recently been laid off from a job I had held in the home care industry for 25 years. Even though I had many years of work experience, I realized that in order for me to land the job of my dreams, I would need academic tools to add to my tool bag. I relearned how to read and write, and I found an opportunity for networking. I became comfortable sharing my own personal reflections and experiences with others in my new community of learning. These valuable lessons helped me discover where I had been, where I was now and where I wanted to go.

All the lessons I learned through Free Minds connected me with people in the community that helped me attain my professional goals. Ultimately, these lessons are what impressed my employer and helped me land the job of my dreams! So I’m passing this grateful movement on to all. I say, take a moment, listen to your heart and affirm out loud what it is you are grateful for today!

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