“I love it!”
That’s Valarie Kirchner’s impression of the Medical Assistant Program at Career Quest Learning Centers. Actually, that’s how she feels about the whole Bay City campus. A member of the very first class at the new campus, Valarie is excited for what the future holds—and so far, so good.
“The teachers are cool and understanding. They make me feel comfortable so I’m not afraid to raise my hand and ask for help,” says Valarie. “And in class, it feels like a real community where we learn from each other. On group projects, we work together and get to know all the people in the classroom. Not everyone is always going to be perfect at everything. We know that. We help each other so we can succeed as a team.”
Valarie says that she likes the small class sizes and the hands-on learning approach offered at Career Quest. She had looked at other schools, but didn’t get the same positive vibe from the staff. “They were kind of pushy,” says Valarie. And she tried community college but says it was too big and impersonal for her.
“I graduated high school in 2008 and I was super nervous to go back to school but they [Career Quest] made me feel comfortable. I knew I’d be okay once I started to go.”
Although the school offered Valarie some of the tools she needed to succeed, she knows that she came equipped with some of her own. Valarie wakes up early every morning, gets her kids off to school and then heads to school herself.
Her daughter asks, “you’re going to school like me?”
And Valarie is proud to answer yes.
She says she’s going to school for her children (she also has a two-year-old son), to make a better life. Valarie acknowledges that she has a pretty good job. She likes what she does and it pays okay. But after a long day of life and school, she sets her children up in daycare before she works the late shift.
“By the time I get home at 11:30 at night and then get the kids to bed and get to sleep myself, it’s 12:30 or 1:00,” says Valarie. “And then it starts all over again the next morning. I’m always tired. And I’m always busy.”
Valarie’s short-term goal is to find a job as a Medical Assistant with more regular hours. But long-term, she wants to put her training to good use and reconnect with family.
The grandparents who raised her moved to Florida and she misses them every day. She says they’re not in good health and that they could use her help.
“When they moved to Florida, it was really hard,” says Valarie. “I want to be close to them. I want my kids to know them. They did so much for me. My grandmother always pushed me and motivated me. I want to show her what I’ve done. And I want my kids to know these people who are so important in my life.”
For now, Valarie is going to be the best student she can be. She’s going to be the kind of parent that her children—and her grandparents—would be proud of and she’s going to work toward a long-term plan.
“I like to have what I call game-plans,” says Valarie
Career Quest Learning Centers at the Bay City campus is part of that game plan—and we couldn’t be prouder.
If you’d like to join the Career Quest Learning Centers community, give us a call at 877-305-9991 or fill out the form and we’ll have someone connect with you from one of our four Michigan campuses.