By - May 1, 2019

Associates head to class with help from Publix!

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Learn how these associates headed back to class — with help from Publix!

Taking the leap

Meat Cutter Christian Ruiz, #710, Leesburg, Florida, wanted to earn his GED certificate as his son started to get older. When Christian decided to go back to school, Store Manager Catrina Christner encouraged him to go for it.

“I wanted to enroll in nursing school, but I had to earn my GED certificate before doing so,” said Christian. “Catrina and the rest of my Publix family were supportive and built up my self-confidence.”

On PASSport, Christian learned Publix associates who take the state GED exam and earn their certificate may be reimbursed for exam registration, and either attending one GED preparation class or purchasing one GED workbook. He quickly submitted his application.

“It would have been difficult without Publix’s help,” Christian said. “You have to pay for each individual course for the test, which includes social studies, math, science and language arts. It’s an added motivation to have that reimbursement.”

Christian passed the Florida GED assessment in early 2019 and has since passed the necessary tests to qualify for the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) program.

“My son is 10 now, and I tell him not to get discouraged and to stay focused,” Christian said. “I hope by accomplishing this, I can help others realize it’s not too late to pursue their degrees.”

From GED to EMT

Customer Service Staff Rebekah Harvey, #1176, Jacksonville, Florida, has worked for Publix for more than four years. She’s always had a dream of becoming a firefighter or emergency medical technician (EMT) like her brother, but knew she needed to get her GED certificate.

“I didn’t know I could get reimbursed for taking the test since I’m part time,” Rebekah said. “But then, I saw there were career and self-development options available on PASSport.”

Rebekah earned her GED certificate about one year ago and has since completed EMT school. She’ll begin firefighter school this month.

“With Publix’s help, I could pursue everything I’ve dreamed of doing,” Rebekah said. “My store is like a huge family. I love working for Publix.”


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