Sebastian said that the instructors at Florida Career College in Margate made all the difference for him as he finished the MAT program

A Little Support Makes a Big Change for MAT Student

Sebastian Augustin is often described as quiet and reserved and if you ask him, he’ll tell you he never really wanted to be a medical assistant technician, yet by the time he finished the medical assisting program through Florida Career College in Margate he was a straight-A student, a student ambassador and a leader on campus.

After high school, Sebastian had big plans to join the marines. An injury caused him to put those plans on hold and his mom urged him to go back to school while he waited.

“At first, I didn’t want to do it,” he admitted. “One of the staff told me it was fun and nice, and I would learn about anatomy and drawing blood and everything. I thought it sounded like fun, so I joined.”

The first day, Sebastian sat in the corner of the room and hardly spoke.

“I didn’t want to do anything. I just wanted to go home right after class ended,” he said. “Then I noticed my teacher. I saw she needed some help. She was very generous and nice and respectful, so I stayed a little after class to help her with whatever she needed help with whether it was decorating or helping students with SOAR.”

Nadine Jean Pierre, Sebastian’s instructor, said she remembers those early days when Sebastian was quiet and kept to himself, but she says it didn’t last too long.

“I call him my little assistant. He did everything around here,” she said. “Any time you asked him to do something he would get it done… He was always here. He would never leave this place. It was like his safe haven. This was his place where he found safety and security. He would stay here all the time, studying, doing his work. Since he was always here, he was offered a job and he gladly did it as part of the work study program. When new students came, he got them acclimated. He tutored. He was all around. Everybody ended up knowing Sebastian by the time he got out of here.”

“The main thing that kept me going was my love for the faculty members, the students, and for my teacher as well,” Sebastian said. “I loved helping her with students. I loved helping all the faculty members as well. From the people in career services to the people in HVAC and dental, they are all super nice. I love every single moment of it. The main thing that really motivated me was my teacher. She always pushed me every single day to do better and be better and to never stay complacent and always aim to do more and be more.”

Being on campus all the time, Sebastian said, made it easy to get his assignments done. His grades never dropped below a 4.0.

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“It was nice because when other students came around for a tour, I would ask him to tell them what it was like and he would go off,” said Nadine. “I would sit there and laugh. Is this the same kid that didn’t want to do this?

“You have to lead by example and show them the passion you have for it and the value in what they are doing, changing lives. It’s not just being here as a student but being a good person for the community, giving back. That’s what I am here for is to just give back and see the growth. It’s pride and joy. It feels really good.”

By the end of his program, Sebastian was a leader on campus and had finished with excellent grades and nearly perfect attendance. He still plans to join the military and hopes to use his medical training there to advance his career.

“What really made me change and grow was my teacher,” Sebastian said. “Mrs. JP really made me grow. If it wasn’t for her, I never would have come out of my shell. She kept pushing me to keep going no matter what. She wants me, and not just me but all her students, to come to class to learn and do better and reach further than the MA program. I would have never changed so much if it wasn’t for her.”