Annette Anderson: A Journey of Resilience and Empowerment


Early Life and Challenges
Annette Anderson’s story begins in Detroit, where she was born and raised. Growing up on the east side of Detroit, she faced numerous challenges, including poverty and a toxic environment. By the age of 18, she had moved more than eight times, experiencing instability and hardship. Despite these obstacles, Annette’s resilience and determination shone through.

Educational Journey
Annette’s formal education was cut short when she dropped out of high school during her first semester of the ninth grade. At the age of 16, she became a mother, a pivotal moment that would shape her future. Though she did not complete high school, Annette’s passion for learning and self-improvement never waned.

Mentorship and Transformation
At the age of 16, Annette met her mentor, a pivotal figure who spoke positivity into her life. Her mentor helped Annette realize her potential, telling her that she was destined for greatness and could achieve anything she set her mind to. This mentorship expanded Annette’s thought process and opened her mind to new possibilities. In honor of her mentor, Annette now strives to do the same for others, inspiring and empowering anyone who walks into her classroom.


Becoming a Nurse
Annette’s life took a significant turn when she pursued a career in nursing. Over the past seven years, she has worked as a registered nurse, a role that not only transformed her life but also ignited her desire to help others. Nursing provided her with stability and a sense of purpose, and she recognized the impact it could have on others in similar situations. Before nursing she started as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) to gain a deeper insight of the healthcare field. She instantly fell in love with caring for others.

1st Step Healthcare Training
Driven by a mission to educate and empower individuals, Annette founded 1st Step Healthcare Training, officially opening its doors on January 17, 2024. Annette started her business by bootstrapping it, funding everything out of pocket through hard work. In just six months, she has successfully conducted four classes and is currently on her fifth. Her CNA school offers a three-week program where students learn the theory and skills necessary to become certified nursing assistants. Annette’s program is unique in that it accepts students starting at the age of 16, without requiring a high school diploma or GED. There is no upper age limit for her program, reflecting her commitment to inclusivity and opportunity for all.

At the end of each program, Annette throws a graduation party for her students, complete with certificates, their favorite snacks, and celebrations. She believes that celebrating wins empowers individuals and motivates them to strive for more. Annette also offers free mentorship to her graduates, guiding them on further education and career paths. She understands the challenges people of color face in entering the healthcare field without proper education and shares her own story of becoming a nurse with a GED.

Community Impact and Recognition
Annette’s dedication to her community has not gone unnoticed. She has received the prestigious Motor City Match award and a grant to support her business. Her achievements have also been featured in Voyage magazine, highlighting her contributions to Detroit’s healthcare education landscape.


Future Goals
Annette’s vision extends beyond her current program. She aims to expand 1st Step Healthcare Training into a full-fledged medical school, offering programs in phlebotomy, patient care tech, dialysis tech, medical assistant, LPN, and eventually RN. Her ultimate goal is to train and educate as many people as possible, helping them secure employment and improve their lives. Annette is actively working to get her program into high schools, ensuring that younger students have access to these valuable educational opportunities.

She is also seeking more opportunities to receive funding and grants for her students, aiming to educate people for free through scholarships and grants. Annette is looking to partner with local nursing homes and hospitals to employ her students after they complete the program, focusing on improving the lives of many people.

Personal Life
Now a homeowner on the west side of Detroit, Annette continues to inspire those around her with her story of perseverance and success. Her journey from a challenging childhood to a successful business owner and community advocate is a testament to the power of education and the impact of one determined individual. She is very passionate about the education she provides and, understanding the financial challenges many face, offers free education to one or two people each month who cannot afford tuition or do not qualify for grants.

Annette Anderson’s biography is a story of overcoming adversity, embracing opportunities, and making a lasting difference in her community. Through 1st Step Healthcare Training, she is not only changing her own life but also transforming the lives of countless others, one step at a time.