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Michaelene Frank

Michaelene “Mickey” Frank’s career has had several next acts, but they’ve all pointed her to the grand finale career she loves: caregiving. “It was February 23, 1976,” she recalls, still glowing with the memory, “when I started working as a nursing assistant. I’m proud of what I do. At night when I lay my head on the pillow, I know I have helped people, and what’s better than that?”

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Carole Fechner

Prevocational Trainer
Kenosha Achievement Center

I began my work at Kenosha Achievement Center (KAC) on November 13, 2000. I’ll never forget that day. I walked in with the job ad out of the newspaper and was hired on the spot. However, I had to tell my new boss that I could not start until the following week. I think he wondered my sincerity of wanting this position. That was seven and one half years ago and I’m still happily on the job.

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Shirley Varnell

Certified Nursing Assistant 
Brookside Care Center

Shirley believes that "Being a caregiver is a calling on one’s life". Like so many other caregivers her first experiences greatly influenced her. It all started with her mother.


In the course of care for her mother and then later on her sister, Shirley had the opportunity to meet many hospital nurses in hospitals and they all said the same thing, “You’re a natural” or “You should be a nurse”. So in 1991 she enrolled in CNA class. Shirley has been a dedicated caretaker for 17 years but her skills of helping others began much earlier.

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Brenda Rosenthal

Harbor House

Ever since I can remember, I knew that caring for people is what I was meant to do. Four years ago I started caregiving at Harbor House. I recall walking in to submit my application and thinking, “What a great place.” Two hours later I was called and offered a job.

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Mary Roberts

I started 31 years ago working in a nursing home doing housekeeping and making $1.95 an hour. I immediately became attached to the elderly and loved making them smile by helping them in small ways. I quickly transformed my job into healthcare and became a "home care aide." That is what direct caregivers were called back in the seventies. At that time, the long term care workers weren't required to have any formal training, unlike now when caregivers must be trained, tested and certified by the State of Wisconsin to work in a nursing home. Because of my work experience, I was among those frontline caregivers that were 'grand-fathered' onto the state registry as Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA). In 1990 I was part of the first class at Gateway Technical College to be trained as a Medication Assistant. Now I can also dispense medicines.

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