HPOG Success Story: Margo at Cankdeska Cikana Community College

Publication Date: April 8, 2021

Fort Totten, ND

Next Steps

Children encourage us to keep going.

A member of the Spirit Lake tribe, Margo spent much of her early life on the reservation working odd jobs to provide for herself and her family. During this time, she worked in customer service, early childhood education, and administration. She was content in these jobs but always wanted to return to school and earn a degree in a field that appealed to her.

Margo discovered her interest in claims review, medical coding, and medical transcription while in her 20’s. In 2008, she enrolled in Cankdeska Cikana Community College with the intention of earning her Medical Assistant certification. Margo was excelling in the program, when tragedy struck. A loss in the family prevented her from completing her studies and it would be another decade before she found her way back.

From an early age, Margo knew the importance of education. As an adult, she passed those values onto her own children. Over the years, she watched them achieve their own educational goals and became inspired to pick up where she left off so many years before.

Margo applied for the Medical Billing and Coding certificate program through Rasmussen College. Because many of her credits from her Medical Assistant training carried over, it would only take nine months to complete. Margo was ecstatic. Finally, it seemed her lifelong goal was in reach and she began the new program in January 2019.

Shortly after beginning her studies, Margo realized she would be unable to complete training without financial assistance. She had learned about the Next Steps program Visit disclaimer page while living in Spirit Lake a decade prior but wasn’t in a place to take advantage of it at the time. Early in 2019, she reached out to the Next Steps mentors in Fargo. She quickly applied for and was accepted into the program and received the financial support she needed to achieve her goal. Thanks to Next Steps’ tuition coverage, Margo completed her training and earned her certificate in medical billing and coding in September 2019. Soon after, she found employment with the Circle of Life agency, a native-founded home care service agency for elders, seniors, and children.

Margo is now gainfully employed and leading a fulfilling life. She is thrilled to have chosen the path that led her to financial independence and self-realization. Thankfully for her, some dreams really do come true.

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

HPOG Success Story: Margo at Cankdeska Cikana Community College (PDF)

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