Tekayla Jackson embodies all the characteristics that staff at the NCWorks NextGen Career Center hope to instill in all of their program participants. Tekayla first enrolled at the career center in Smithfield in June 2017 with the hope of becoming a certified medical assistant.
Tekayla’s prior work history had mainly centered around jobs in customer service and sales. Tekayla knew she liked working and interacting with people, but she wanted to do more. She wanted to really make a difference helping people, as well as obtain a career that could support her and her son.
With a high school diploma and associate of arts already under her belt, Tekayla registered for a distance learning program at San Joaquin Valley College.
Along with her coursework, Tekayla needed to receive the hands-on training required to become a certified medical assistant. Through her own hard work and determination, as well as some help from the staff at NextGen, Tekayla was able to start an externship and work experience as a medical assistant at the Benson Area Medical Center.
During Tekayla’s time at the clinic, she trained on various tasks such as measuring and recording vital signs, gathering patient history for the provider, assisting with patient care, performing intramuscular injections and EKG’s, and obtaining lab specimens.
Even though Tekayla was learning new skills in a fast-paced environment she was “always eager to learn, always had a smile and a great attitude,” according to Kristy Southerland, the clinical nurse supervisor at Benson Area Medical Center. Kristy says, “Tekayla grew so much since she started. She showed more confidence in her skills and overall settled in well with our group.”
Tekayla is now a registered medical assistant with a permanent position working at Duke Health Center of Clayton. She is not only advancing her medical skills but also continuing her education. Tekayla plans to return to school to complete a bachelor’s of science in nursing and prepare for a future career as a registered nurse. With the support of her family and the staff at NextGen always behind her, we know she will be able to reach this goal in no time.
NextGen is a year-round youth program operated by JCI, federally funded through the Workforce Investment and Opportunity Act (WIOA) and administered by the Capital Area Workforce Development Board for Johnston and Wake County residents.
Story submitted by Johnston County Industries (JCI)