Breana Mason was nervous. She wasn’t sure which career she was going to pursue, and she’d never taken a college class before.
But it didn’t take long for her to settle in and find the guidance she needed at Metropolitan Community College’s Institute for Workforce Innovation. Mason’s journey began in the pharmacy technician program.
“My counselor asked me my junior year if I’d be interested, and they were only asking 10 people to take the program,” said Mason, 19. “I did it because, even though I wasn’t sure about what I was going to do in college, I knew the district was paying for it and it would help me once I graduated from high school.”
A strong support system from MCC helped Mason adjust quickly. She credits Dr. Bijan Siadati, her instructor; Dr. Manuel Solano, an adjunct instructor at MCC; and Karla Neff, a teacher in the Blue Springs School District.
“Dr. Solano was very outgoing, very welcoming. He is supportive, encouraging and always there to listen,” she said. “Dr. Siadati was there when I had no clue what I was doing and would show me exactly what I was doing wrong. Mrs. Neff was my backbone, helping everyone in the class more than anyone could explain.”
Mason later transitioned to the medical assistant program at MCC-Penn Valley. There, she is learning several skills, including such back-office skills as vital signs, patient rooming, medical administration and examinations. She also will learn medical coding and billing, patient record-keeping, and medical ethics and policies.
“After attending the program, Breana found her confidence,” Solano said. “Watching this young lady grow from a nervous, undecided high school student to a confident, driven young woman is very rewarding.
“We are empowering these students to have choices and career-ready skills upon completion of high school. Having the opportunity to partner with the school district and reach these kids while they are in high school has made a big impact on them as a person and their futures.”
For more information about the pharmacy technician and medical assistant programs at MCC’s Institute for Workforce Innovation, visit mcckc.edu/iwi or call 816.604.1000.