Dropout to coordinator: A grad’s story
May 7, 2019
Tameka Arceneaux, new Medical Assistant/Medical Office Administration Externship Coordinator at the San Diego campus, has a unique perspective on and appreciation for Concorde Career College.
A couple of decades ago, any college setting was perhaps the last place Arceneaux thought she'd ever be working. A high school dropout, she never saw herself as much of a student. She'd even go so far as to say she didn't see herself as much of anything.
But as a new mother of a four-month-old boy, Arceneaux knew she had to do something. That's when she ran across an ad for Concorde.
Learning to believe in herself
"As a little girl, I always had a dream of working in health care," she said. "But, becoming a mother at a young age made my dreams feel almost unreachable."
Desperate to have a future where she could provide for herself and her son, Arceneaux made a call to Concorde. Almost immediately, the course of her life was changed dramatically.
"I called and got connected with the right people," she said. "I was so afraid because I had never really succeeded at much, so my confidence level was pretty low."
Arceneaux enrolled in Concorde's Medical Assistant program, and her confidence and fortunes began to turn around almost immediately.
"I began coming to school, and I just remember feeling more and more confident after each quiz or exam," she said. "The instructors really seemed to care about my success. They pulled things out of me that I didn't even know were there."
"I began to believe that just maybe I would be able to get a good job to support my family."
Realizing her dream of becoming a Medical Assistant
Graduating from Concorde in 1992 "was a great accomplishment," and Arceneaux's belief was realized when she was hired as a full-time Medical Assistant from the office in which she performed her externship.
That led to a 15-year career in which she advanced from an entry-level MA to back office supervisor to office manager.
During those 15 years, Arceneaux spent a lot of time training students during their externships. She did such a good job, she was asked to apply for a teaching position in the medical assistant program at a local career college.
She taught and helped change the lives of students for more than eight years, before returning to her alma mater as Externship Coordinator for students in the Medical Assistant and Medical Office Administration programs.
Coming back home
"We're happy she found her way back to Concorde as an associate," said Rachel Saffel, Campus President at Concorde-San Diego. "In her first week here, she found extern sites for 20 students and is already a valuable, dynamic member of the San Diego team."
If Arceneaux had a personal commercial she could make for Concorde, she said it would be: "Concorde - Bringing hope, restoring lives and changing communities, one person at a time. At Concorde, we aim for individual success that leads to a community changed forever!"