Mother of Six Learns to Just Keep Going

Ciara says she found the motivation and support to succeed in the Medical Assistant Technician program at FCC in Tampa

Ciara Brunson never pictured herself working in the medical field but when she learned Florida Career College could help her earn her high school diploma and begin a new career to better provide for her family, she decided to give it a try.

Ciara had seen her sister have some success working in the medical field as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). It seemed like a faraway dream for Ciara, since she was busy taking care of six kids and working as a server. Still, when Florida Career College came up during a search, Ciara decided to give it a chance. After a quick tour of the Tampa campus, she enrolled in the Medical Assistant Technician program.

“I just wanted better for myself and to show my kids that I can accomplish anything,” she said. “I wasn’t a graduate at the time but it’s never too late to do anything or accomplish anything.”

Ciara struggled in the beginning. She was excited to be back in school, but the thought of drawing blood was intimidating, and she was struggling with some depression. A change of instructor for her future modules made a big difference.

“She was having problems with class and she was behind. She was not passing. She had a bunch of stuff going on in her life at that time,” said Boris Paloma Mendoza, her instructor. “I was her brand-new  instructor and she was telling me she was done. I told her she can’t just give up. She asked me for help and I said definitely.”

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Mr. Paloma Mendoza said he watched Ciara come to campus and stay late, sometimes with a few of her kids, to get caught up on her work.

“In a matter of months, she turned it around to where she definitely knew what she wanted to do,” he said. “I use her as an example to other students. Here is this girl who can win you with a smile but is also a tough cookie. I met the tough cookie first. Now she is so proud of herself that every time she was coming to class she would stop by and say hi. Her life has changed for good and hopefully for forever.”

The further she got into the program, the more Ciara felt like she was called to be in the medical field.

“I gave myself pep talks,” Ciara said. “I prayed and my kids kept me motivated. I had serious talks with my kids. They would ask me about school and tell me I needed to finish. They told me I could do it and gave me motivation. I never finished anything in my life. I always start things and never finish. I feel like I accomplished something. I did it.”

At the end of her courses Ciara completed an externship at an OBGYN office. They referred her to a pediatrician who hired her right away.

“FCC is a great place,” she said. “Everyone is there to help, from Career Services down to the instructors, the front office and even the students as well. Everyone always motivates you. Just keep going. That’s all I can say!”

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