CVS Health partnership transfers candle-making skills into pharmacy expertise for young mothers

Jasmine Minor Image
Thursday, February 15, 2024
CVS partnership transfers candle-making skills into pharmacy expertise
A CVS Health and New Moms Inc. partnership through Bright Endeavors transfers candle-making skills into pharmacy expertise.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A new partnership is giving young moms a chance to elevate their careers.

New Moms Inc. and CVS Health are allowing mothers to transfer their candle-making skills into pharmacy techs.

Through candle making, New Moms is teaching skills like inventory, math and quality control, so that young mothers can thrive in the pharmaceutical industry and take their career to new heights.

"This is my little Autumn Genesis Prize," Tyjana Alexander said, pointing at her ultrasound. "I never thought I would be here, but I'm so happy that I actually came here."

Just 11 weeks ago, the 21-year-old said she was unsure of how she'd take care of soon-to-be baby Autumn. But, New Moms Inc. gave her renewed hope.

"Once they introduced the pharmacy techs to me, I was like, 'maybe, I should try this," Alexander said.

After making candles through New Moms Inc. business Bright Endeavors, she's applying to the partnership program with CVS Health.

"I just want to elevate myself," Alexander said.

SEE ALSO: Sheryl Lee Ralph and Zeberiah Newman on the 'Unexpected' narrative they wanted to share about HIV

New Moms CEO Laura Zumdahl said they serve mothers 24 and younger, most of whom don't have much in the way of resources.

"We want young moms to move into careers and have employers who do offer living wages and benefits and health care," Zumdahl said.

According to CVS Health, teen parents and their children are 73% more likely to face systemic poverty and other major obstacles.

"I see a lot of me," Viv Harper said.

It's why the partnership program is so vital for Harper, who was just 18 when she got pregnant, calling it a full circle moment.

"Now 20 years later, I'm sharing that story and creating programming and really tapping into a population that sometimes is forgotten," she said.

The CVS Health manager of workforce initiative helped develop the eight-week pilot program that trains young moms to be pharmacy techs with personal mentors and gives them the ability to be certified across the country.

"It can roll into different positions, and it can roll into different companies," Harper said. "It's not just for job; it's really a career path gateway."

She wants to send a message to these moms, that the possibilities are endless.

"You can have a bad moment, but don't stay down. If you can look up. you could get up," Harper said.