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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Student is a triple threat to other job applicants

September 24, 2013
One degree wasn’t quite enough for such an ambitious, hard-worker as Ola, which is why she returned to SJVC for further schooling.

Online student, Ola Petty, is on fire with her career education. It wasn’t enough for her that she enrolled in and completed the Clinical Medical Assisting certificate program, then extended her commitment in the program to earn her A.S. degree. She decided to re-up and enrolled in the Medical Office Administration certificate program, just to top it off.

“I want to do anything at the hospital they want me to – front, back, side, left, right,” says Ola Petty. “Whatever they need me to do, I can do.”

But, getting to that point wasn’t going to be easy.

Even with the support of fiancé, Freddie, Ola was pretty stretched, caring for 3-year old Fredrina, 9-year old William and 12-year old Chassity. William, who suffers from severe asthma and ADHD, had frequent and unpredictable hospital stays that tossed all schedules aside. His asthma often flashed into bronchitis, then pneumonia, before the episode could be managed.

“I took my computer with me to the hospital and people would say, ‘You are so eager to learn,’” says Ola.

But her studies were suffering and she was trying everything to stabilize her home life.

“We had to move from the apartment we were in because of the paint and carpet,” says Ola. Even the pollen outside was a constant threat to William and kept her on high alert.

Things got to a point where she thought she just couldn’t continue with school. “There was too much on me and I was about to give up,” says Ola.

Tekla Patton, Ola’s student advisor, had worked closely with Ola to get her through difficult parts of her classes and they had become especially close. Now Tekla stepped in and got Ola the help she needed to come up with a new plan. “They gave me a few days to get it together,” says Ola. “I decided I came too far in school to let it go, so I came back and gave 100% of myself.”

The online campus was glad to have her back. “They made me feel real good about myself.”

“Ola has been working really hard the last two years to complete her programs,” says Tekla. “And, now she’s coming back for more education.” It looks like their friendship will have some more time to grow.

Now Ola is back in the swing of going to school – which is a little confusing to her 3-year old. “Mom, I didn’t know you could go to school like that, over and over and over,” Fredrina tells her. Ola just laughs at that, but everyone in her household knows that when Ola is at her computer, it is serious study time and she is not to be disturbed.

The kids also know that Ola is doing all this for them. “I want a better living for my kids and I want to have something in my life,” says Ola. “And, I want my kids to know that nothing in life is free. You have to work for what you get,” she says.

Ola feels that her employment prospects, with both the CMA and MOA programs finished, are very good. “I got documents behind my name,” she says. “I think I’ll choose a good job in a place where I’m needed.”

This has been a long and sometimes difficult educational process for Ola, but she knows why she made it to this point. “The Lord plays a very important part in this, and if it wasn’t for Him I probably wouldn’t be here.”

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