Maci Hines always knew she wanted to work in the medical field, but it took some time to figure out exactly which path would be right for her.
Originally, Maci enrolled in the Medical Assistant Technician program at Florida Career College’s Orlando campus, but it just wasn’t a fit.
“It just wasn’t for me,” Maci admitted. “I worked as a caregiver when I first started going but I just wasn’t really successful in the program.”
Maci had never felt like she excelled at school to begin with, but to make matters worse, Maci’s fiancé was in a terrible car accident while she was going to school. She decided to drop the program to focus on working and caring for him. The decision was heartbreaking.
Several months later, Maci was still struggling with those feelings. One night, her fiancé asked her where she saw herself in the future. She expressed a desire to work in an office and he encouraged her to go back to Florida Career College in Orlando. This time, she enrolled in the Medical Front Office and Billing program.
“It was very hard to work, go to school and care for him,” she said. “Everything was weighing down on me. Everything was getting harder and harder. Everything was going downhill. It made me give up on school. I was depressed and irritated and mad that I let myself down.”
“The first day, I met my teacher and she changed my experience,” Maci said. “She told me the first class that I was accepted. She told me, ‘I hold the pen in this class. I make the decisions. Nobody is going to treat you how you felt.’ I went from being an F student to being an honor roll student. She made me believe in myself. She made me know that I am capable of way more if I just push myself.”
Adrienne Kittinger, Maci’s instructor, said she could tell right away that with some encouragement, Maci could do great.
“Whenever I get a student that re-enrolls or comes from a different program, I try to make sure this is the last stop for them,” she said. “She told me it was a combination of things in the MAT program. I told her if anything happens in my classroom, you let me know because I don’t take prisoners. I think being successful was linking her with another student who was her mentor and helped her along.”
Maci surprised even herself. She had never been a star student, but now she was consistently on honor roll and even became an ambassador for the program. When it came time for her externship, she had more knowledge than the person training her.
“It makes me feel proud and accepted,” she said. “If you don’t believe in yourself, Florida Career College will help you learn how to believe in yourself. You can come there, and they will make you very independent.”