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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

The Power of One

May 22, 2013

Wanda RobinsonEver wanted to so something, but just couldn’t find the motivation?  Couldn’t get yourself out of your comfortable routine?

Wanda Robinson had worked for some time in the physician’s office of a large hospital in GA, but wanted to qualify for a management position and the salary increase that came with promotion. Her friend and co-worker Janice encouraged her to check out SJVC’s Online programs to help Wanda get the education she needed to succeed. Janice had completed the online CMA program, and knew the education would give Wanda the opportunity to reach her goals.

Janice’s nudging led Wanda to check out the Medical Office Administration program; she was so impressed by it that she reorganized her schedule around her full-time job in order to be able to take classes!

“Let me stop procrastinating and just get it done,” she said to herself.

Wanda had already earned her Medical Office Clerk and Billing Specialist certificate at Savannah Technical College and had been trained in completing coding and billing. Despite her experience, she knew the gaps in her training and a lack of a higher degree kept her from advancement.

“My online classes were much more in depth,” says Wanda. “It was much, much better, and everything fell into place for me as I learned the rules, laws and policies that explained the job I had been doing.”

Janice’s participation in Wanda’s education did not end with her enrollment.

“Janice still stayed on me with ‘How are your classes going?’ and ‘How did you do on that test?’”, says Wanda. “And I had to see her every day!” she laughs. Wanda admits it was kind of nice to have your own cheerleader at work.

Janice was not her sole cheerleader in this journey. Her 18-year old daughter, Paris, and 9-year old son, Nicholas were constant with their encouragement in her studying and did a lot to help out at home.

“Paris graduates from high school this year and plans to go to Culinary Arts College in Atlanta, so we got to be her guinea pigs at mealtime,” says Wanda. Wanda’s parents were excited for her success, as well, and helped out with the kids whenever they could.

With her family’s support, and the achievability of the program, Wanda found she could take on any subject.

“I’ve never liked math,” she confesses. “But, with the videos that show you exactly how to do the problems, the ‘help me’ tabs, e-mails from teachers and other resources, I was like ‘Wow’, I can do math!”

Math was not the only subject at which Wanda excelled. She both appeared on the Dean’s List 12 times and graduated with a 3.83 GPA, and she credits her success to her family.

“I wanted to show them that you should always finish what you start,” she says. “They were all so happy when I got my degree,” says Wanda. “Just knowing my parents and children were proud of me is enough.”

It was not long after Wanda handed her degree to her supervisor that she found herself promoted to Team Leader and enjoying a nice salary bump. Her new responsibilities include supervision of 19 employees and fill in leadership in the absence of her supervisor.

Wanda is pleased with her degree, but she is hungry for another. She knows she will have Janice (and her own family) behind her, and finds herself taking on the role of cheerleader.

“Now I’m motivating her, too, to pursue our Bachelor degrees together,” says Wanda.

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