Graduating into a New Career

Farley, FastForward Graduate

Farley graduated high school uncertain of her future career trajectory. She always had an interest in the medical field and made the decision to enlist in the military to serve as a medical specialist in the U.S. Army stationed in Germany. Upon the completion of her service, she struggled to find and maintain work while suffering from PTSD. Dickey then began a 20-year journey to obtain a bachelor’s degree while raising her children.

“I accumulated a lot of debt while working on my degree and I was unsure of how to move forward. I often thought of returning to healthcare, I just needed the right door to open,” she said.

In 2016, Dickey began searching for pathway to return to the medical field. Dickey was accepted into Central Virginia Community College’s Certified Clinical Medical Assistant FastForward training program. She excelled in the program – earning three certifications as a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant, Phlebotomist and EKG Technician. She completed her internship and was offered a position at Johnson Health Center before completion.

“I completed my hours and internship paperwork, had an interview on a Friday and I started my new job the next Monday,” she said. “You can’t do any better than that!”

CVCC was the first college in Virginia to invite workforce students with earned credentials to participate in graduation with the entire college. CVCC’s graduation ceremony was the first Dickey had the opportunity to officially “walk.” Her mother, children and grandchildren were able to share this moment with her.

Dickey is currently serving as a Pediatric Medical Assistant at Johnson Health Center in Lynchburg.

“Now that I am working in a medical facility, I can already see doors opening for me,” she said. “I’m certain there are some possibilities in the near future where I can combine my background in social work and healthcare.” 

Return to Blog Posts