Briseyda Martinez is dressed in scrubs and carries a heavy backpack filled with medical assistant textbooks. She graduated from high school with a 3.8 GPA and currently holds a 4.0 as a student in the LAYC Career Academy’s medical assistant program. At the age of 19, Briseyda became the youngest person ever to join the school’s board of directors. She is going to become a certified medical assistant and then start nursing school and nothing is going to stop her.
But her success did not come easily.
Briseyda was raised by her grandmother in El Salvador. When she was thirteen years old she moved to Washington DC to live with her mother. It was not an easy transition. She cried on her first day of school because her teachers and fellow students only spoke English and she did not understand what they were saying. She struggled to understand her classes during the day and then struggled to find belonging with her mother’s new husband and baby every evening.
Things got better as she learned more English and moved into an apartment with her older sister. Briseyda says she is motivated to succeed by her sister and her grandmother. “I want to make my sister and grandmother proud. I want to be the first one in my family to get a good job.” Briseyda always knew that the path to that good job was going to be through education. Her sister pledged her support and promised to pay for Briseyda’s housing and food while she went to college. Briseyda applied to college and got in everywhere. However she did not get enough financial aid so she was not able to enroll.
Briseyda felt very depressed when she realized that she could not afford college and began to research alternatives online when she found the LAYC Career Academy. At Career Academy, Briseyda can become a medical assistant and obtain the foundation for her ultimate goal of becoming a Registered Nurse. She loves the way staff at Career Academy treat her as well as the material she is learning in her medical assistant classes. “I love practicing taking vitals and giving injections the most.” She has also enjoyed being on the board of the school. She loves the opportunity to express her ideas and point of view on the board. She is also excited to learn about new things like how to read and interpret financial statements.
When asked about her success, Briseyda talked about the importance of not being afraid to ask for help. “If I did not know something, I would ask a teacher.” Like all successful people, she got where she is through hard work and by asking for and receiving help when she needed it.