14:34 PM

Paying it forward


American Family partners with a Wisconsin hospice care provider to help high school graduates pursue their dreams, and by doing so, makes a difference in several peoples’ lives.

Michaella Bell, certified nurse assistant (CNA) at Agrace Hospice Care, which serves southern Wisconsin, pulled into an elderly patient’s driveway for his weekly scheduled in-home visit. While she had been providing care to him for quite some time, today was different. She had a surprise, and couldn’t wait to show him.

“I love helping people and building relationships,” Michaella explains. “And I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the elderly. Because of that, I knew I was meant to be a CNA.”

AmFam helps pursue dreams

In 2014 while completing her senior year at Malcolm Shabazz City High School in Madison, Wisconsin, Michaella was accepted into Agrace’s CNA scholars program with a full scholarship that covered her tuition, books, and supplies. Michaella and a small group of other students were the first group to receive full scholarships, with ten of the students' tuitions paid by American Family Insurance.

Top of the class

After three months of classes at Madison College and clinicals at Agrace, Michaella completed the program. She hoped to receive a permanent position at Agrace after receiving her CNA license. But before she could even complete the test, Agrace called her to speed up the process. They wanted to hire Michaella as soon as she passed the state examination, and asked her to apply right away. In September 2015, Michaella became the first student in the group to start her career as a CNA at Agrace.

Making a difference

Back at her patient’s house, Michaella greeted the man with a gift bag in hand. Although he cannot speak, she easily understood him. By looking around his house and seeing what was on TV each day, she learned he was a diehard Packers fan, but had never owned a Packers shirt and didn’t have enough money to buy one.

She handed the gift bag to him, and he looked at her in surprise. “It’s for you. Open it!” Michaella said. The man looked at the gift inside. In the bag were two long-sleeved Packers shirts. Michaella smiled as he looked up with tears in his eyes.

Because of American Family’s donation, and Agrace’s dedication to training high school graduates, Michaella met and cared for this man. On that day, in the true sense of paying it forward, his dream also came true.

About American Family Insurance

Madison, Wis. - based American Family Insurance is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and ranks 358th on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General, Homesite and AssureStart) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the Internet or by phone. Web; Facebook; Twitter; Google+