Veronica Flores Diaz immigrated to the United States from Mexico while just a teenager, and as an adult had largely felt stuck working part-time, low-wage jobs to try to help make ends meet for her family.
Her interest in a career as a medical assistant grew after celebrating a friend’s graduation from the healthcare bridge program at Erie Neighborhood House, but she still wasn’t convinced a job skills training program was for her. Nevertheless, she encouraged her sister to join the 20-week Erie House Pathways to Success course.
That simple, seemingly insignificant action was all that was needed to set things in motion. “I took my sister to the class,” she recalls, “and it ended up being me who enrolled in the program.”
Once at Erie House, she quickly began developing the skills she would need to pursue a career in healthcare. “The program at Erie House was really great,” says Flores Diaz, explaining that she felt extremely supported throughout the 5 months required to complete the program. “It gave me the confidence I needed.”
- Veronica Flores Diaz
Today she works as a medical assistant for Esperanza Health Centers, a community health center serving residents of Chicago’s Southwest Side. It’s a role that she enjoys. “I feel like I’m helping people—especially those who don’t speak English,” she says. “Sometimes it’s hard for them to understand the medical concepts they’re hearing about for the first time.”
As happy as she is working as a medical assistant, Flores Diaz is eager to continue advancing her career. “I want to go back to school to become a nurse,” she explains.
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