Aleatha Roberts is known for being a tough teacher with a heart of gold within the Medical Assistant Technician Program at Florida Career College’s Jacksonville campus but it’s her outreach to the community that truly makes her one of a kind.
Ms. Roberts, as she is known by students and staff on campus, has been with the school since 2015 but her knack for bringing people and organizations together is something she grew up with.
“It’s always been important,” she said. “My life has been great coming up. I’ve had everything I needed or wanted… but I’ve seen kids coming up who didn’t have what I have. It just makes me want to help. It makes me feel good to do that. These are the things that touch my heart.”
Nearly four decades in the medical field has given Ms. Roberts a unique perspective of people. She’s worked in emergency care, ambulances, and also in doctor’s offices. For her the most important skill she can teach her students is to care.
This lesson is modelled for the students every day. Ms. Roberts has been responsible for organizing blood drives, raising funds for breast cancer walks, offering free HIV and COVID testing on campus and so much more.
“It makes me feel so good to not only have her as an instructor but to have her connection in the community,” said Dr. Damario Belford, Associate Director of Education for the campus. “She goes above and beyond for students.”
In addition to what she brings to the campus, Ms. Roberts makes it a goal to give her students experiences off campus as well. She enjoys taking them to the morgue for tours and to a local homeless shelter to feed the people and offer free health screenings.
“I want my students to experience different things,” she said. “They love it. After it happens, they talk about it for weeks and months later, now they see the value of helping people. They are excited about it. They want to know when the next event is.”
Ms. Roberts is a Medical Assistant Technician Instructor, but she also teaches CPR and runs the campus boot camp which prepares MAT students for their externships and helps them prepare for the CPR licensure exam before their externship.
“Students love her,” said Dr. Belford. “The response you get from students about Ms. Roberts is she don’t play, but she can teach. She’s tough but they get it in the end. They understand it. When her students go out on externship, they succeed and nine times out of ten, they get the job.
“She just has a caring heart. She says all the time ‘I want to see students make it.’ That’s her passion and her drive. It makes me feel good to have someone like that on our staff. We truly cherish her.”
Ms. Robert’s definition of “success” may be different from some.
“I’ve seen a whole lot of things and I want the medical assistants to care about the people they are going to be taking care of,” she said. “Not just working in this field for the money or for whatever reason–it is because you want to be involved in the community… It makes me feel great. I just want it to grow all over the world where people help each other.”