Medical Assisting student Dahlia has faced significant and painful obstacles, yet has faith in her ability to realize her dream of becoming a doctor. As far back as she can remember, Dahlia has aspired to work with those in need and to give back to her community.
"I have never allowed my obstacles to define me or stop the person I want to become."
Dahlia, a recipient of the 2017 High Achievers Scholarship, enrolled in the Medical Assisting Program to gain experience in the medical field while continuing her education. Dahlia is eager to start her career in the profession that she loves. And importantly, she is proud to be a role model for the love of her life, her son Malakyi. Being part of the program has allowed her to provide financial stability for the family while she works toward her goals.
"I feel blessed to have the honor to be part of such a great program taught by some of the most genuine, compassionate, and caring individuals. They have helped me see the potential within myself. I know in my heart I will make it and accomplish my goals."
Dahlia is currently in level 3 and taking a full load of classes this summer, with the goal of graduating with her classmates in June 2019 with her Medical Assisting certificate and AS.. She's also working on her prerequisites for nursing. Her plan is to work as a medical assistant for two years, get into a nursing program, work as nurse, then go to medical school.
This will take a long time, but it's important to Dahlia to get experience in all fields in order to be a well-rounded doctor. She wants to make an impact on low income patients, and the community as a whole, who often don't have access to basic health care and have, at times, had negative experiences getting health care. She wants to provide care in a positive and welcoming manner.
When Cindy V. graduated from high school, she had a strong interest in Criminal Justice, wanting to be a lawyer supporting women and children who faced trouble at home.
However, her dad was diagnosed with stage 4 leukemia. This was scary and hit the family hard. “My Dad is my everything.”
Cindy had to leave school to work and care for her little brothers. At this time, she interacted with people who were loving and compassionate while caring for her dad.
“Life gives you big turns and you don’t know why. But once you’re there, you know where you want to be in life,” says Cindy. “Seeing these caring people, I became more compassionate to myself, my family, and others. I wanted to care for someone else as they cared for my dad and get that satisfaction.”
Then Cindy married and had her son. He needed heart surgery and was in NICU for two months. This was a hard time for Cindy, and she learned even more from the caregivers.
“God was putting all of this in my life for a reason; I have to return to this,” thought Cindy.
Ever since she had a son born with a heart condition, Cindy wanted to enter the medical field to make a difference in people’s lives just like all the nurses and doctors did for her.
Cindy went back to school, thinking of becoming a nurse. But she knows that takes a while. So, she’s starting Medical Assisting.
“This has been the best opportunity. The faculty made the process easy. And they are so supportive – I have gone through the Pajaro flooding and my family is still living in a hotel. Faculty helped me keep up with my studies and supported me. This program will affect the next chapters of my life by showing my toddlers if mom can do it, they can do it too”
She has finished the program and is doing her externship in Student Health Services.
“The externship is eye-opening, and I love it! I’ve found my right place.”
As Kimber H. researched various experience-building jobs that would help her progress toward her goal of being a nurse, she became interested in Medical Assisting. She had previously attended Cabrillo and wanted to work with the faculty again, so she investigated different certificates. She chose Medical Assisting as providing the perfect blend of administrative and clinical knowledge. Kimber says the entire process of applying and getting into the program was exceptionally smooth. And she has found the program to be a positive experience.
“I learned a lot, not only about what it takes to be a Medical Assistant, but also what I needed for personal growth. The instructors and cohort were extremely supportive; always doing everything they could so we all succeeded. The clinical classes are realistic, informative, and helped bond us as a class.”
Kimber is excited to start her externship soon and appreciates how the experience is easy on the students because the instructors help them get into the “real world.”
“I’m optimistic about what I’ve learned and where I’m going,” says Kimber.
Roxanne wanted to work in a practice known for a hands-on, quick paced environment. For her, Ob/Gyn or Urgent Care at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) fit the bill. And she has been hired in the Ob/Gyn Department, where she is joyfully working.
"I can honestly say it's amazing! I Love where I work and I loved going through AMAP at Cabrillo!"
Roxanne, who is incredibly interested in the physiology and anatomy of the human body, became interested in the medical field due to her mother's health challenges. She has been sick for quite some time, visiting doctor after doctor. As Roxanne accompanied her mother, she saw that some interactions were wonderful, with passion behind it. Sadly, there were some visits when could not believe the way she and her mother were treated. Roxanne wants to be a person that the patients can feel vulnerable with and know that she's going to do everything in her power to help.
Originally, medical assisting wasn't Roxanne's objective. While waiting to get into the Radiology Program, she thought it would be smart to get her foot in the door. Her plan was to go through the Medical Assisting Program for two years, work for a couple years, and then jump into the Radiology Program. However, she wound up with an awesome experience.
"The instructors are absolutely amazing! I chose the Cabrillo Program because, after asking around, all I had heard was fabulous reviews on the staff and the program itself. Laurie and Pam put their heart and soul into each student, and you can feel the passion they have for the students and the program."
While in the program, Roxanne had the opportunity to take on a leadership role as the Vice President of her cohort. And importantly, she made connections with people who would later on have an important role in her career path.