Graduation marks the end of a student’s education and for several graduates at American Career College’s 2018 fall ceremony this October, it also signified the beginning of something new and exciting.
For Michael Magie, graduation day represented the start of a second career after decades of battling flames as a firefighter. Less than a month after finishing at the top of his physical therapist assistant cohort at ACC-Orange County, Magie was already working in his field and loving every minute of it.
“It has given me a new outlook on life, because I’m home every day, I’m making good money, I’m enjoying family time and most importantly, I’m enjoying helping people out,” Magie said, “because as a firefighter, that’s what I did all the time. And I’m continuing to do that and ACC has helped me to keep that going in my life."
Osiris Rodriguez said she needed to make a career shift after losing her retail job of 13 years. On a friend’s recommendation, she checked out ACC-Los Angeles’ pharmacy technician program, before ultimately deciding to join the medical billing and coding program. Now, less than a year later, she has a new job as a registration billing specialist.
Rodriguez said her family — and especially her young niece — provided her with the inspiration to keep at it when things got tough.
“I wanted to prove to her to finish what you start,” Rodriguez said.
ACC-Ontario surgical technology graduate Sharee Edwards said graduation served as a reminder to keep believing in herself.
"People may tell you, 'Don’t do this' or 'You can’t accomplish this', but don’t listen," Edwards said. "Just keep going and strive to better yourself. You’ll be much happier for it."
Besides earning her associate degree, Edwards was proudly wearing the gold and silver cords that represented being an honor student and having completed the GED/High School Equivalency program. With her newfound confidence — and a new job in a hospital as a scrub tech — Edwards said she's now eager to pursue her bachelor's and master's degree.
“I just want better for myself and doing this, it just makes me see that I can accomplish more – because I did doubt myself," Edwards said. "This means so much to me, words cannot express it."
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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