Medical Assistant, HammondKatie

“I always loved working with kids, so my first major was education with an emphasis in childhood development. Then I ended up getting married so I didn’t finish. I got divorced, moved back, and decided I didn’t want to be a waitress anymore. I wanted to have a better life for my son and I.


The next day, I enrolled at Brightwood, but then I freaked out and unenrolled. Three years later, I came back. I decided if I don’t do it now I’m never going to do it.

In the beginning I was going for Dental Assisting, because I thought that was something I wanted to do, but I switched to Medical Assisting before the classes started. My aunt’s a nurse, so that’s what pushed me towards Medical Assisting.

“I didn’t want to be a waitress anymore. I wanted to have a better life for my son and I.”

At first I was so scared because I hated needles. I hated touching blood. And I said that’s not for me, but I went in there and I actually really liked it until we got to the phlebotomy part. I ended up leaving the classroom crying until my teacher, Ms. Miller — who I’ve since adopted as my grandmother — found me in the hallway and told me I could do it. After our talk, I went back in and poked. We don’t practice on dummies, we practice on real people which is why I was so scared. But it was a successful blood draw and ever since I’ve become obsessed. So now I’m like, ‘Cool, let me see your veins!’ I love it.

In total, the program was nine months with seven months in class and then two months in the field. I graduated in November and then the very next day I started working at a school as the school nurse. I interviewed back in August, but they needed someone full time and I couldn’t balance my schedule being at Brightwood three days a week. They told me they would wait for me — which they did from August until November.

As the school nurse, I see students ages three to thirteen so it’s never a dull moment! I usually see maybe 50 to 60 students a day. Most of them come down for cough drops or they didn’t eat so we have granola bars, dry cereal, crackers. I check their temperatures; I also do lice checks, vision tests, hearing/testing. In the summer, we are starting immunizations with the help of the county nurse. We’re a Title I school — so it’s very low income families, so we’re going to start doing immunizations for students who also can’t afford them.

“For me, knowing that I was his role model is what kept me going.”

My four-year-old son calls me a doctor and asked for a doctor kit for his birthday. When I was doing my homework, he would sit down with his little laptop — you know, the LeapFrog ones — and he would do his homework. Even now when he has homework he tells me, ‘Okay, I’m going to do my homework just like you.’ For me, knowing that I was his role model is what kept me going. There were so many times I wanted to quit but I would see how he looked at me. As a single parent, I’m all he has, and I didn’t want him to see me quit and think that it’s okay. He was my main support and my main motivation.

Besides my son, I am also supported by my whole family, especially my mom, dad, and sister. My mom and sister both work in schools. My mom works in public and my sister in private. I pretty much grew up with being in a school all the time. It’s why I initially wanted to major in education. Being in a school is nice because we can still compare stories. My sister has been teaching for 10 years now, so she definitely knows the ins and outs of private schools, which has been helpful.

My boyfriend was also a huge supporter of mine. There were times I wanted to quit and he definitely wouldn’t let me. When I would study for tests at five o’clock in the morning, he would be up with me. He was a trooper. And then my teacher Ms. Miller was also my number three in terms of support. She always pushed me to do my best, especially with my essays. If I had a 98% she told me, ‘I know you can get 100, redo it.’ Even though I was so tired, I was happy she did that.

Ultimately, I want to work in labor and delivery so the first step in my 10-year goal is to become an LPN and then go back to school for two years to get my nursing degree. When my son is approaching middle school, I would want to go back again and become a nurse practitioner.

For those unsure about going back to school, I would say: You never know until you try, don’t give up. You don’t want to live with that regret because the ‘what if’ is worse than actually trying it and not liking it.”

We’re in this togetherRead More of Our Stories

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Lee-Ann, Indianapolis“I’ve learned more from my students than they’ll ever get from me.”

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Sandy, Nashville“I spent a good portion of my life in shelters, churches and people’s homes.”

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Are you a Brightwood College student, graduate or staff member?We’d love to hear your story!

“My motivation comes from seeing my students succeed.”

Pamela, HammondSenior Admissions Representative

“Students motivate me every day. A chance to speak to them and show them that they do have a chance is extremely rewarding to me.”

Elizabeth, Fort WorthStudent Finance Support Specialist

“I get to help students take that next step and push themselves to be more than they thought they could.”

Joe, El Paso Career Development Specialist

“I always wanted to go back to school but it seemed impossible working full-time and taking care of four children. My kids are the reason I chose this field. They have a lot of problems with their teeth, and after so many treatments, I found out this career is very interesting.”

Mirla, Indianapolis Student

“I endeavor to remind students that life will happen with or without your personal satisfaction. Do something worthwhile. Do something you love.”

Terra, Fort Worth Dean

“The proudest moment of my life was when I had my first interview and they offered me the job. I am happy with the place, and I love my job!”

Mariana, Charlotte Graduate

“My kids and my grandkids motivate me. I want them to be able to know, no matter your age or situation, never give up on your dreams.”

Yvonne, Dayton Student

“Always follow your dreams even if it seems as if you could never accomplish them. Nothing is impossible!”

Gisselle, Las Vegas Student

“You have to believe in yourself and believe that you are worth it every step of the way.”

Stephanie, Fort WorthInstructor

“I needed to do something hands-on and slightly behind the scenes. So I chose pharmacy technician. The job I am doing is a perfect fit for me.”

Bright, San Antonio - San Pedro Graduate

“No matter what may ever happen to you in life, you can pull yourself out.”

Brittany, NashvilleStudent

“I came to the United States searching for a future with my husband and two little boys. I wasn't sure how I was going to speak another language or where to start seaching for a job. I learned the language and got more confident about myself, but I felt like I was incomplete. I needed a career.”

Leslie, Laredo Graduate

“My parents are both immigrants. Being the first in my family to go to college has made my parents proud.”

Leonor, Vista Student

“My proudest moment was the first day I walked into class and found my place in life.”

Catherine, Fort Worth Student

“My daughter motivates me every single day. I want the best future for her. I want to show her anything is possible and to go after your goals.”

Jazmine, Fort Worth Student

“My children motivate me. Their father died when they were 7 and 11. Now I must provide a life for them on my own.”

Rachel, Dayton Graduate

“I loved my careeer in healthcare. Now I love passing on the knowledge and real-world experiences to my students.”

Margie, Fort Worth Instructor

“No matter what difficulties you face in life there is always hope. Tomorrow is another day with new opportunities. Love life, love people, love yourself. You are worth it.”

Amber, Modesto Student

“I make it my mission to create a campus culture of family and a sense of belonging. We know our students' names, we know their stories, we know what makes them smile. We listen to our students, and we recognize them for changing their life and making it happen!”

Shaheen, Fort Worth Staff Member

“I know what it’s like to lose everything then work hard to make a good life for myself and my children. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. It’s not who you are, it’s who you can become.”

Melody Ann, Hammond Student Finance Supervisor

“I proved to myself that obstacles do come your way, but when you have your mind set on what you want you will achieve it. I’m now a dental assistant!”

Paula, Corpus Christi Graduate

“Technology has always interested me, as well as taking things apart and putting them back together.”

Cory, El Paso Instructor

“I was afraid because I have been out of school for a very long time and was doubting myself, but I knew I needed to go back to school.”

Kimberly, Indianapolis Student

“I have worked in Career Development for over five years and still have the same passion for helping our students as I did on day one. Improving the outlook of someone's life motivates me.”

Athenai, Fort Worth Staff Member

“I help students take the leap every day. The difference is that I refuse to let them fall. I believe in their success!”

Latanya, CharlotteAdmissions Representative

“I am motivated by my students who are enrolled to make a better life for themselves and their families. It motivates me watching them overcome many life obstacles and cross that finish line and graduate. The strength of my students is amazing!”

Marianne, Fort Worth Staff Member

“I realized that college parties, the traditional classroom setting, and being far from home was not for me. I knew I wanted to continue with a career path that would help people and benefit society.”

Natalie, Indianapolis Student

“If I can’t be in the Marine Corps anymore and protecting my country, I might as well be protecting people from something else — bad teeth!”

Audrey, Vista Student

“Having three small children hasn't always been easy, but striving to make sure they are secure is what drives me.”

Audreyona, IndianapolisStudent

“How can I make a difference today? That’s my daily question. Coming from circumstances that shaped me into who I am today, I want to give back in a way most of us truly need.”

Kimberly, Fort WorthCareer Development Specialist

“No matter how hard my circumstances were, I never gave up.”

Taviona, Riverside Graduate

“It has taken me three tries and three different schools to find a place that I enjoy and a career field I love.”

Anna, Friendswood Student

“I enjoy watching students evolve and become responsible, hard-working individuals.”

Kendra, Fort WorthStudent Finance Support Specialist

“I have always been in love with the dental field.”

Tyshawna, Indianapolis Student

“My children are my world, and I want them to see their mom as a successful person.”

Guadalupe, Modesto Student

“I chose the Medical Assistant program because I love to help people move forward.”

Rosetta, Fort Worth Student

“As a first-generation American, first-generation college graduate, and having been a young parent, I am motivated to help my students, many of whom share a similar life experience.”

Alex, Chula Vista Campus President

“I chose the medical field because I want to be able to help people. You have to have a good heart and a lot of patience to work in this field.”

Monica, CharlotteStudent