Special bond at Poland Senior Living jump starts new career - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Special bond at Poland Senior Living jump starts new career

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POLAND, Ohio -

When you think about a senior center, you expect the employees to take care of the residents, but that relationship can go both ways. 

A special bond at Sunrise Senior Living in Poland is making a difference.

For six years, Delonte Carter's held just about every job there is at Sunrise.

"I've worked in maintenance here. Anything that you can think of," said Carter.

Still, he had this sense that he wanted something more. Last year, he took the entrance exam to try and become a nurse.

"I just said, 'Hey I'm just going to wing it.' So I went down and I passed everything but the math part. I knew math wasn't my strong subject when I went anyway," said Carter.

He was down, but far from out. Jean Williams is one of the residents at Sunrise and was a teacher for 47 and a half years. She was already close with Delonte, so when he came to her asking for help, she was ready and willing.

"I said yes we can do that if you can stand up under the old lady," said Williams.

So a teacher and her student went right to work.

"Jean is very kind, but she is no pushover," said Kerry Smith, the executive director at Sunrise. "I mean, she means business."

"There are no disturbances, no coming into the room. Nothing when we're studying. Everybody knew that, sign on the door," said Williams.

"I would come in a couple hours before work, I would stay hours after work. She would give me homework," said Carter.

After a month and a half of hard work, Delonte took the test again. This time he passed.

"The day he came in, I could tell the minute he had walked in that door. He had passed, I knew he had. He came in that door, jumped over the couch. I said, 'I know it!' We were thrilled," said Williams.

He graduated a year later and had a familiar face right there waiting for him on his first day.

"He was the last person to take care of me as a life enrichment person, and I was his first patient as a nurse," said Williams.

Just because he's achieved this one goal doesn't mean this is over. Far from it, actually. Delonte says he has big dreams for the rest of his career and he also has Jean to make sure those dreams become a reality.

"We're going to let him catch his breath for a minute, celebrate Christmas and the babies and then we're striking out again," said Williams.

And their bond has never been stronger.

"She changed my life," said Carter. "Because of her, I'm able to impact lives of others."

Carter says, his ultimate goal is to become an executive director someday. With Williams by his side, there's no stopping him.

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