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Sunshine at Rogue Community College

Sunshine smiles in her nurse uniformGrants Pass, OR

Children Are at the Heart of Change for a Single Mother

If you asked Sunshine five years ago where she would be today, her answer would certainly be different. In that short time, she found sobriety, earned a medical assistant certificate and began a career in the healthcare field. Sunshine is a single mother of two boys, living in Medford, OR. For years, she battled addiction and generational poverty. She wanted more for herself and her family but struggled to find it.

Sunshine bravely took steps to overcome her barriers. In February of 2017, Sunshine attended an information session about the HPOG-funded Southern Oregon Health Occupations Poverty Elimination project (SOHOPE). During the information session, Sunshine learned the healthcare industry needed skilled workers. She could see herself taking classes and earning a certificate as a healthcare professional. Sunshine says, “This opportunity came into my life in the perfect time. Being a mom was everything to me, and I knew staying in base jobs would not allow us to have a better quality of life.”

A short time later, Sunshine enrolled in her first college courses. Completing her first prerequisite classes built up her confidence. From there, Sunshine evaluated which healthcare certification program would be the best fit for her and her family. She decided to pursue the medical assistant (MA) program.

With a rigorous new schedule, Sunshine quit a job at a dry cleaner and applied for a student worker position at Rogue Community College. HPOG staff helped Sunshine develop a strong resume and cover letter and helped her practice for interviews. The preparation helped Sunshine land the job. The student worker position allowed her to earn money and take classes at the same time. HPOG helped provide scrubs and medical supplies such as a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff that Sunshine needed for her work in and out of the classroom.

In June 2019, Sunshine finished her practicum hours and completed the MA program. She is currently employed as a certified medical assistant at a pediatric medical office. Sunshine credits her practicum site experience and her job as a student worker with preparing her with the skills it takes to work in the healthcare field.

I am so grateful to have this opportunity; it has changed my life. Knowing I will have the ability to have healthcare benefits and save for retirement— the things that are necessary to be self-sufficient. I didn’t know how to get from the point I was to the point I am now, and I am so grateful for the HPOG grant.

This success story was self-identified by the grantee and information contained in this document was provided by the grantee.

Sunshine at Rogue Community College

July 9, 2020
Last Reviewed: July 9, 2020