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May 28, 2015

When Brandy was laid off from a job she held for 13 years, she went looking for different avenues to job placement. She attended the East County Career Center (ECCC) introduction orientation class where she learned about the Grossmont College Navigator pilot program. She then contacted Navigator and Educational Case Manager Renee Nasori at Grossmont College to schedule a meeting to learn more.

With Nasori’s help, Brandy started college for the first time at 41 years old. She enrolled in Grossmont College’s short-term medical office assistant program and registered for all the required spring 2015 semester courses.

Brandy’s main challenges were financial struggles and a lack of moral support. Being single, she had no source of supplemental income to keep a roof over her head. Her family resides on the east coast where her best friend recently relocated to as well, leaving Brandy feeling like she had no one to turn to during these tough times.

Brandy started this journey without a family support system but by the end of the spring 2015 semester, classmates had become friends and instructors had become cheerleaders. At times things seemed too difficult to overcome, but through her perseverance and patience her future began looking brighter than ever.

“You have to put in a certain amount of effort in order for the program to work for you,” says Brandy. “It’s not just going to be handed to you. When things get tough, move past them, or you’ll let it defeat you. Sometimes you just have to keep making the phone calls and sending the emails to get things done. Be patient and don’t sit idle.” 

Brandy is currently enrolling in her second and last semester of the accelerated program. She is passionate and determined to advance even further than her intended goal—planning to get a state certification for medical coding and complete her associate degree.

“Starting school opened up other doors for Brandy,” says Nasori. “It’s turned her original goals into even higher aspirations and helped her attain the tools to pursue any avenue she chooses.”


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