March 22, 2022

Makayla Locker

Makayla, a 21-year-old, out-of-school young adult visited OhioMeansJobs Tuscarawas county in June of 2020 seeking financial assistance to help support her goal of enrolling in Buckeye Career Center’s Medical Assisting training program. After having some concerns and hesitation given the conditions of the pandemic, Makayla changed her mind and decided she was going to wait until 2021 to apply for the training. She was engaged and also became a new mother. Her son was only 11 months old, she was not sure if she was going to have the time and resources to also be a full-time student.

Makayla met with CCMEP case manager, DJ Milburn, to discuss her options. DJ received an email from Makayla on August 4, 2020, stating she was going to move forward with her goal and asked if there was still time to apply for financial assistance. Makayla was able to apply for the assistance and was approved for the funding as a qualified participant with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. In addition to funding, Makayla was approved for fuel assistance. She received $40.00 in gas cards every two weeks since she drove from Magnolia to New Philadelphia four days a week.

Makayla and DJ would meet once every two weeks during the training to deliver fuel assistance and discuss concerns. Makayla was always positive and would consistently relay to DJ that”all is well.” She was always pleasant and respectful and never missed an appointment, even through all of her required appointments and a full schedule. She was often accompanied by her son, as she had to balance school and life responsibilities.

DJ noticed that Makayla was under stress during the externship clinical assignment portion of the training and would provide Makayla support and encouragement. Makayla completed her training and graduated from Buckeye Career Center’s Medical Assisting Program on June 11, 2021.

After following up, DJ learned that Makayla had secured employment with her externship provider, Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital, as a Medical Assistant. She was working full-time and earning $15.72 an hour. Makayla also tested for her Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) and passed to receive her certificate. She was then given a raise to $16.10 an hour!

Makayla was, and is, so thankful for the opportunity to be able to obtain the certification debt free. Having the transportation assistance delivered to her was a huge relief. She thanked all involved at every opportunity – and she stated to DJ, “if someone is undecided on a career, or has decided on a career and needs to go to school and might be struggling financially and not sure if they can pull it off – to bet on yourself. Reach out. See if you can qualify for assistance like I did. It is worth it – I got a job right out of externships.”

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