Professional medical school geared towards people who ‘want to make a difference’ | New
According to city officials, Shahkor became the first black woman to open a professional medical school in Kern County.
Kern Valley Medical College offers a 17-week Medical Assistant program and a 5-week EKG program. Applicants must have a high school diploma, GED, or pass a university-administered entrance exam to enter. Other courses such as medical billing are also offered.
The university will also be announcing phlebotomy and EMT courses in late fall, external instructor and coordinator Nexi Henriquez said.
Cole, a former medical assistant teacher, said her love for education prompted her to open the university. Even after becoming a nurse and working in the field, Cole couldn’t forget the joy of education.
âOf all the work I’ve had, it has always taught me,â Cole said.
A high school dropout, Cole offers school to those who haven’t gone to college or are looking for a second chance. The founder and director wanted to create a place where everyone, regardless of their background, can work hard and reach their full potential.
âThis school serves the person who felt they could never get there,â Cole said. âIt is for people who want to make a difference in their life.
Cole said there were 20 students at his college. It also aims to reduce the number of students in the classroom so that students receive proper attention and care. Individuals can register for courses every month.
âNo one is being left behind,â Cole said. âWe care about their success. We want them to live their dreams.
Henriquez, a former student of Cole and now a professor at the university, said education has completely changed his life. She had a âtraumatic experienceâ and became uncertain about her future. But the university instilled empowerment in Henrikes – she was able to pass her knowledge on to others and enrich their lives.
âWhen (students) first start a program, they do it because they want to start somewhere – they want to be something,â Henriquez said. “Thank you so much.”
Mayor Karen Goh attended the inauguration of Khan Valley Medical College on July 24, the first anniversary of the school’s opening. Cole was unable to organize a celebration due to the pandemic and hosted an event to mark the university’s first anniversary.
â(Cole) took a big risk during the pandemicâ¦ to open a new business,â Go said. âWe couldn’t be proud of someone who was willing to take that risk and be successful.â
Goh added that Bakersfield’s rapidly growing population underscores the importance of new businesses and the ability to create jobs.
Nick Hill III, president of the Kern County Black Chamber of Commerce, encourages black youth to dream big and understand that their background does not interfere with their abilities.
âAfrican American businesses are seeing this boost,â Hill said. “â¦ Seeing other African-American companies becoming businesses, many other African-American companies will do the same.”
Malena Neira, a medical assistant student, dreamed of entering the medical field when she was in the first year of high school. His passion is to help others.
âI have no words to explainâ¦ how awesome this class is,â said Neira. âI am very happy to take this opportunity to come here and learn what we are learning now. “
Student Priscilla Serrano worked in business administration and wanted her own bright future. She found the program online, decided to apply, and discovered her love for the medical field.
âBefore, I was always skeptical of myself,â Serrano said. “(This school) encouraged me to believe that I could do other things.”
Veronica Espinoza said that she chose this university because of its reasonable cost and short lead time. Espinoza works from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and goes to class from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. She loves evening classes because she wouldn’t be able to register otherwise. She wanted to be a mentor for children, which motivated her to pursue her dreams.
âAs long as you focus on something (to my kids), you show you can do it,â Espinosa said.
Professional medical school geared towards people who ‘want to make a difference’ | Link to Professional School of Medicine news source for people who “want to make a difference” | New