ACC student speaker Jasmine Alaa's fall 2108 graduation address:
I still remember the day I called in to American Career College to schedule my first appointment with my counselor. She told me I could bring my kids with me if I didn’t have anyone to watch them. I remember walking in with my 3-year-old in hand and my newborn in his stroller praying that the kids wouldn’t be too loud. I remember how she held my 2-month-old son while I made him a bottle after he had gotten a little fussy. In that moment I almost felt embarrassed — embarrassed that I didn’t have more arms or that I needed help. But it quickly passed and I was overcome with gratitude. That’s the moment I knew I wanted to attend ACC.
On my first day I was nervous — nervous to leave my 2-month-old son, even if it was only for four hours. And nervous to fail. I think as a new mom, fear of failure is always looming above our heads. But I thought back to my husband’s words. He had asked me a month before about my plans for the future. He asked if I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, go back to work or go to school. He told me that he would support any decision I made. We both knew the answer… I had wanted to work in the medical field since I was a little girl and first saw my mom wear scrubs. She was once a medical assistant and I always loved the way she helped people. I wanted to help people too… and wear scrubs every day, because let’s face it, it’s like wearing pajamas for work.
In the course of my seven months at ACC, I moved three times, did hours and hours of homework, started a business with my husband, and missed a lot of days at school. Between doctor’s visits for my kids, new business appointments and those days when you’re just too exhausted to make the drive to school, I somehow did it. I finished strong, never getting less than a B in my classes. I did something, finished something, accomplished something and realized something. I realized that although I have always been the type to strive for perfection, it is usually unattainable. But that doesn’t mean that anything should stop you from reaching your goals. After all the laughs and tears, the good and the bad, I walked away from ACC with a job. I was lucky enough to secure a job as a medical assistant at a family practice office before I even started my externship. And I can honestly say that I love what I do.
I’d like to thank my mom, dad, stepmom and sister for always helping with the kids when I needed time to study or do homework. I’d like to thank my good friend Mayra, who works at ACC who became somewhat of a mentor and always lent an ear when I needed to vent. I’d like to thank my instructor Mrs. Rothrock for instilling in me what it is to be an MA, and I’d like to thank my husband Juan for always believing in me, working so hard to provide for us, being a great dad to our two amazing kids, and for loving me unconditionally through all the struggles the world has thrown our way.
Congrats to everyone here because no matter what struggles we faced, we are here today as a new generation of caregivers and that is something we should all be proud of!
ACC cannot guarantee employment. Programs vary by campus. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student. For graduation rates, median debt of graduates completing this program and other important information, visit americancareercollege.edu/disclosures.
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