Meet Amanda

GCTA Graduate

“My new job is wonderful. It’s been challenging, but in a good way. Goodwill has definitely helped me achieve my goals.”

Growing up, Amanda moved around a lot, from just outside Philadelphia where she was born to São Paulo, Brazil to eventually Austin, which she now calls home. When she was in high school, she admits she didn’t apply herself and going to college wasn’t the plan. However, a dramatic shift happened during her last semester when a biology teacher inspired her so much that she enrolled in a local community college. After improving her study skills and saving up money, Amanda transferred to a well-known university and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology.

Next, Amanda set her sights on becoming a Medical Assistant and ultimately, a Physician Assistant, but didn’t know where to find affordable training. After researching multiple options, she chose to pursue the Medical Assistant course at the Goodwill Career & Technical Academy (GCTA). “I loved the Goodwill program! It allowed me to gain experience in just three months of training.”

Amanda’s instructor was a source of inspiration for her and her classmates, and she exited the course feeling prepared to enter the healthcare industry. “My instructor was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. She believes in her students and gave us plenty of opportunities to practice our skills. She promised us on orientation day that she would not let us fail, and she proved that true on the day of our certification exam. She gave us all of the tools we needed to thrive — not only to pass our exams — but also to be good Medical Assistants in the field.”

Since Amanda qualified for the Goodwill Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act (WIOA) Youth Program, she also benefited from the assistance of a Career Case Manager who helped her navigate finding a job as a Medical Assistant after passing the certification exam. “My case manager was a great support. She’s dedicated to her job, and even after the program ended, she checked in on me to see how my job is going and if I needed any assistance.”

Today, Amanda works at a women’s clinic and plans to apply to graduate school in the near future to pursue her dream of becoming a Physician Assistant. In the meantime, by gaining valuable experience now with patients, she feels like she’s on the fast track to a long-term career, thanks to the GCTA and Goodwill.

“My new job is wonderful. It’s been challenging, but in a good way. Goodwill has definitely helped me achieve my goals.”