Sisters and Study Buddies

Finding the right study buddy can be a challenge. You want to make sure you partner up with someone who understands you – how you like to study, how you like to communicate back and forth. For Kacie and Heather, who are currently enrolled in FastForward training at Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC), they’ve been preparing to be each other’s study buddy since they were born. They are twins after all.

Not only are Kacie and Heather twins, but they were always in the same class growing up. They were homeschooled by their mother at their home in Afton Mountain.

Having grown up learning in a tight-knit environment, the sisters were looking for a higher education option that would be more in their comfort zone. That’s where PVCC came in.

“It was definitely scary, because we’ve always done school at home – there are only two of us,” Kacie said. “It was really nice going to PVCC because there were smaller classes; it was a smaller group. It was easier than going to a big college and moving far away. It’s been really been great.”

When Kacie and Heather went to their local community college to talk through their options, they were originally thinking about doing something in the nursing field. The healthcare program manager, JoAnna Collins, helped them strategize a series of trainings that would give them five in-demand credentials over the course of one year – at a price they could afford.

First up, the sisters enrolled in the certified nursing assistant program, which marks the beginning of their career ladder. Kacie and Heather completed the CNA program together and have now completed the registered medication aide training, as well. They are now enrolled in the EKG technician training class, and once they complete that course, they’ll go on to enroll in phlebotomy and, ultimately, the certified medical assistant program.

While each training focuses on a particular set of skills in the healthcare field, Kacie and Heather are working to stack them together to make them attractive candidates when they graduate next spring.

“So far, all of it is different in its own way. I just like how you’re able to help people,” Kacie said.

When the sisters graduate, that’s where their differences will set them apart – and luckily, their job applications are likely not to cross paths. Kacie is hoping to score a job in a pediatric doctor’s office (where there is a set schedule and regular hours). Heather, on the other hand, is hoping to land in a hospital doing the late shift.

“Give me any department, and I’d be willing to try it out. I’m up for anything,” Heather said.

Kacie and Heather worked through FastForward to get their paperwork straight and their financial assistance in place. If you’re game, too, consider enrolling in FastForward career training at your local community college.