From ESL to Medical Assistant — A Pathway to Success

Tomas Luna started studying ESL at Evans Community Adult School in 2016.

Having completed the ESL program and three ABE classes, Tomas attained the reading score he needed to be eligible for the program.  Tomas was also able to receive funding for the Medical Assistant program from the Downtown/Pico Union WorkSource Center.

In the summer of 2018, Tomas participated in the Evans’ IET class which focused on First Aid. Tomas had gone to medical school for two years in his home country of Mexico, and he had also completed training as a Lab Technician before moving to the United States. However, in the United States, Tomas had worked in Quality Control for a meat company for 20 years, and prior to that, he had worked as a lifeguard and a swimming instructor for LA County. The IET class reminded him that he had always wanted to work in the medical field and that he had a drive to help people to live healthier lives. After completing the IET class, he decided to enroll in the Medical Assistant program at Evans.

Tomas says that the greatest challenge during the course was his English. However, he said that his instructor, Gloria Tavera, worked extremely hard with each student in the class to help them overcome their barriers, and that the real life experience he received during the externship was invaluable and helped to build his confidence.

At the end of the program, Tomas passed the National Healthcareer Association’s Medical Assistant Certification (CCMA) exam. He is currently polishing his resumé and is starting to apply for Medical Assistant positions.

From starting in ESL Intermediate-Low A to completing the Medical Assistant program, Tomas has taken a journey which has prepared him to fulfill his goal of working in the medical field. Congratulations, Tomas!

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