All Washed Away But Her Dreams

February 27, 2020

Florida member survived Hurricane Katrina and went on to become a Registered Nurse.

LaurenMalic_fa.jpgWhen Lauren Malic was a little girl growing up in New Orleans, her dream was to become a nurse.

Years later, she never lost sight of her dream, even after her family lost everything in 2005, when Hurricane Katrina ripped the roof off their home. They relocated to Florida, Malic enrolled in nursing school and got a job as a transporter at UHealth Tower in Miami.

But money was still tight.

“All I could afford was my car insurance and food,” said Malic. “I had no financial aid, so I had to cover most of the cost of school.”

And then Malic decided to join 1199SEIU. A union representative told her about the 1199SEIU Training Fund and encouraged her to apply. Malic calls the moment a game changer.

“I got reimbursed for my classes,” said Malic. “I am so thankful. I don’t know what I would have done without assistance from the training program.”

After earning her nursing degree, Malic could have applied for a job at another hospital, but says she wanted to stay at UHealth Tower. She was inspired by the nurses she met when she first started working at the hospital as a transporter taking patients around the facility.

“I got to see the great work the nurses do daily. This motivated me to go to school to become a Registered Nurse,” explained Malic.

Malic works in the cardiology medical surgical department. She encourages her colleagues to join 1199SEIU so they can have a voice on the job, bargain together for a good contract, and have the opportunity to utilize the training fund so they can fulfill their dream just like she did.

“We should all come together as a team through our union,” declared Malic. “Workers have more power when they unite. It’s awesome what we can accomplish through our union.”

- 1199 Magazine: January / February 2020