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Not all heroes wear capes, some wear scrubs

You don’t go into healthcare because you think the benefits are good. There’s blood, there are tears, and there are days where you have to go through some terrible situations. But it was one of those tough situations that fueled Jordyn’s passion for helping others in their greatest hour of need.

When Jordyn’s little sister was hit with bone marrow issues, she was admitted to the hospital for treatment where Jordyn stayed by her side as a companion, and in some cases a provider.

“Being in the hospital, helping her through her care, it changed my mind about healthcare,” Jordyn said.

For Jordyn, living in Martinsville means you’re either working in a factory, at a fast-food restaurant or in healthcare. So, when a friend of hers enrolled in a FastForward Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA) training at Patrick Henry Community College, she knew what she needed to do.

“I wasn’t sure if I was ready or if I could do it, but I saw how she trained and got certified,” said Jordyn. “Now, she’s working 8 to 5 with benefits, and she seems really happy. I was motivated. I wanted to be better for my kids.”

In January 2020, Jordyn enrolled in CCMA training. When things started, she was thrilled at the evening classes that worked around parenting her then five and three-year-old kids and six-month-old baby. The instructors were supportive, and pushy – in the best way possible.

“They were pushy, but in a good way. The course was a foreign language for me. I had been working in retail, and healthcare was totally different,” she said. “It was discouraging at first, but Alyssa [the FastForward Career Coach at Patrick Henry] and Brenell [the workforce training coordinator] constantly checked in and asked me what I needed.”

And that support came into play big time when COVID-19 hit. Courses shifted online, and Jordyn was squeezing in lectures between dinner prep and bath time. When she needed a laptop, childcare assistance and some kind words of encouragement, Alyssa and Brenell were there.

In August, Jordyn passed her CCMA exam after completing all her clinical checklists. Thanks to a connection made through Patrick Henry, she is working as a COVID-19 screener and tester, getting paid double for the hours she’s working. She’s also juggling multiple job offers and is weighing the pay and benefits against each other.

Her next step down the road is becoming an RN, but for now, she’s relishing in her accomplishments.

“I just want people to know I made it,” she said. “This process was a success and a goal I achieved in my book. I accomplished something I never thought I could do with three kids and being a single mom. Y’all can do it, whether it’s a big step in your book or a little one.”

To learn more about FastForward and to find a support system like Alyssa and Brenell, connect with your local FastForward Career Coach to get started.