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Medical Assisting Graduate


Karen Ruelas was interested in a career in the medical field but she found closed doors and obstacles in her path when she tried to pursue her dream.

That is until she looked into Central Coast College in Salinas.

“I’m very thankful to the college because some other places closed their doors or they put obstacles in front of me, but CCC was much different,” said 30-year-old Salinas resident Ruelas. “The staff, the teachers, my classmates, I have no words to describe how much this community, this family, supported me.”

Ruelas learned about CCC when she found out a close friend had graduated from the small career college. So she did a little research, applied and got a call the next day. Within days she had an appointment to meet with college advisors and a few days later she was enrolled in the Medical Assisting program.

She not only immersed herself in the program, she found out a lot about herself.

“At CCC I learned that I am capable of doing what is needed to succeed, that hard work and effort pay back,” she said, adding, “I already recommend CCC to my family and friends, and even to people that I don’t know. If I have a conversation with them, I always include CCC in my answers.”

After completing her program, the Medical Assisting Externship Coordinator recommended her to Monterey ophthalmologist Dr. Philip J. Penrose. After completing an externship with Dr. Penrose, she was hired and became a staff member.

Even though placement is never guaranteed to students after graduation, Ruelas is a shining example of Central Coast College’s high success rate and a credit to its mission.