In September of 2021 when Angela Hatch was told she needed to have an emergency surgery, all her goals for her life suddenly came into focus.
“The thought of the outcome of what could have happened with that–I was very close to dying,” she said. “If I hadn’t gone into the hospital when I did, I probably would have lost my life. At that time, going through changes with that I told myself I’ve got to do something more.”
Scrolling through Tiktok, Angela saw a video about Florida Career College that explained the school offers a third-party program where students could complete a high school diploma. She had grown up surrounded by abuse and had never graduated high school, but she was eager to create something better for her own children.
“My mother had an abusive partner, so I was around that. For ten years of my life, I was with my kid’s father who was very abusive,” she said. “I wasn’t allowed to do anything when I was with him. I could barely work. I could not go to school to get my high school diploma or anything. He wouldn’t allow me to do that. Now that I’m not around any of that and I have positivity and support in my life, now I can do the things I wanted to do when I was younger.”
Angela had been making pizza for 17 years before she became a Certified Nursing Assistant in 2019. She enjoyed helping patients, but she knew she wanted to further her career in the medical field. Becoming a medical assistant was the best next step.
“It took me wanting to do something more for my family,” she said.
Angela took to the courses right away, pushing herself to never score below an A average.
“Sometimes she would come to class exhausted because of lack of sleep, but somehow, she gets that boost of energy to carry on in class as if she was well rested,” said Felicia Kimble, Angela’s instructor. “She is ready to make the transition to medical assistant, so she doesn’t have to work so hard, and she wants to be able to spend more time with her family. She tells the students all the time she wants to work smarter not harder and feels this is the way to get there.”
Ms. Kimble said Angela was a determined student. She rarely missed a day and often turned in assignments early.
“Angela will make a great medical assistant because not only does she have the medical experience dealing with patients, but she has the passion and spirit to help others. She is the type of person that will give you her all.”
‘THERE’S A BETTER OUTCOME ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THIS‘
After years of pushing her own dreams to the side, Angela was able to graduate with honors and was hired by her externship site, an OBGYN office.
“I’m very proud of myself for doing it and not giving up,” she said. “I’ve given up multiple times in the past. For three years straight I kept enrolling in high school classes to get my diploma and never finished it. I have a lot more confidence in myself. I can do things. I don’t have to settle. I can do it.”
Angela is most proud of being able to provide her two children with a better, more secure future. No matter the struggle, she said it was worth it.
“Just go for it, do it and don’t give up,” she said. “There’s a better outcome on the other side of this.”