Nursing student, once homeless, offered job at Hartford Hospital

Daisia Kai Walker is all smiles as she visits with the people she’ll soon be working with at Hartford Hospital. She thanks God for an opportunity that couldn’t have come at a better time.

After having a falling out with her family, Daisia quickly found herself without a place to go.

“That’s when everything started falling back down. I was basically homeless at that point,” she said. “I started wandering I would say. I found myself at the park at night, and I just wanted to be alone, but I knew where I wanted to go with my life still.”

She was a student at Capital Community College in the certified nurse aid program. Barry Kriesberg, Regional VP of Operations at Hartford Hospital, read her story in a newspaper article.

“Something didn’t sit right with me. I didn’t like learning that there was somebody that was in college in a nursing program that was having trouble adequately feeding herself and spending several nights in the park, and I said to my wife, there must be something we can do about this. This isn’t right,” said Kriesberg.

He asked his nursing colleagues to figure out what they could do for Daisia. That’s when Vicie Brooks reached out to her.

“Very excited when I told her the hospital is interested in giving her an interview and we wanted to connect with her. She screamed, like I said, she was very excited,” said Vicie Brooks, Community Liaison Nurse.

Daisia came in to shadow to see what a job at Hartford Hospital would be like.

“Daisia will be an integral part of the team. Our patient care associates are. She’ll be responsible for hygienic care for our patients, nutritional care, monitoring vital signs, again being part of the team, reporting anything that should be reported to the nurses,” explained Marlene Harris, Nurse Educator.

She’ll be starting in September as soon as she finishes her certification.

“I’m definitely looking forward to be part of their organization and to learn more, and just, they’re like family. When I walked in the door, it’s like wow, hey, I felt already where I belong,” said Kai Walker. “I thank everybody for this opportunity because I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”