Having a full-time job while going to school is never easy, but it becomes even more of a challenge when you’re working nights and attending classes during the day. That’s what Samaya Hutchinson is doing to complete the Certified Medical Assistant program at New Community Workforce Development Center.
Hutchinson works as a certified home health aide at Brighton Gardens, Sunrise Senior Living in West Orange from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. She also works Saturday afternoons and sometimes Sunday. She attends class from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the week.
Getting very little sleep hasn’t deterred the 21-year-old.
“It’s hard but I push myself because I want more for myself,” she said. “I want to finance myself so I don’t have to depend on my parents.”
Hutchinson moved to East Orange last year from Jamaica. She lives with her mother, stepfather, three sisters and two brothers.
She has wanted to work in the health care field since she was about 6 years old, when her grandmother passed away. “Because I didn’t have the chance to help her, I wanted to be a nurse,” Hutchinson said.
Her sister, who wanted to be a doctor, got very sick when she was 15 and passed away. That pushed Hutchinson even more toward health care.
Hutchinson’s ultimate goal is to become a registered nurse. She plans to complete the Workforce CMA program and work as a certified medical assistant full-time while also maintaining her role as a certified home health aide on the weekends. She wants to earn a bachelor’s degree as well, which she hopes to start working toward in 2019.
New Community Workforce Development Center staff members are convinced she’ll achieve her goals.
“Samaya is destined for success. She’s smart, hard-working and committed to making the necessary sacrifices to meet her professional and personal goals,” said Workforce Development Center Director Rodney Brutton. “This is evident by Samaya’s perfect attendance participating in the CMA program although she works a full-time job at Brighton Gardens, Sunrise Senior Living.”
“Ms. Hutchinson is a motivated and diligent student whom I had the pleasure of having in my class,” said CMA instructor Seham Abouelhassan. “Ms. Hutchinson is always willing to learn and has proven to be responsible and punctual in spite of her overnight job which I know to be tiresome and draining.”
Hutchinson enjoys taking classes at Workforce. She said it’s a friendly atmosphere with good teachers. She also has a very close relationship with the other students.
“My classmates are like family to me,” she said.
Hutchinson is very driven to attain the education needed to pursue her dream career and maintain independence. Another goal she has is to get a driver’s license and her own car next year.
“I’ve always wanted to help others and make people proud, especially my mom,” Hutchinson said.
She is well on her way to doing both.