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Young Ruslan Normukhamedov had desired a career in the medical field, but as one of three sons of a struggling single mother, that desire appeared to be an unattainable dream. Then, while he was a sophomore at a nearby public school, Ruslan heard about the CTE Medical classes offered at Heritage Peak’s Rio Linda campus. (I am quite sure that Luda Semeryuk had something to do with that!) Armed with the knowledge that he could possibly graduate from high school as a certified Medical Assistant or EKG Technician, Ruslan convinced his mother to allow him to leave public school and enroll at Heritage Peak.

As a high school junior, Ruslan enrolled at Heritage Peak with a plan to take every CTE medical course we offered during the two years he would be there. He wanted to make sure that he would be fully prepared to be employable upon graduation so that he could contribute financially to his household.

I met him as a student in the Medical Terminology and EKG Technician classes which were virtual due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Ruslan was always prepared, engaged, and fully participated in every class session. It was very apparent that he wanted to know the information and was pursuing a career and not just a grade. Ruslan was never late nor absent from any class session and never scored below 85% on any assignment or test. He later told me that he was fully aware of the money he was saving, and he wanted to make his mother proud. He could see his dream of working in the medical field becoming a reality and it was important to him that he not waste the opportunity he was given.

Ruslan Normukhamedov with scrubs on

What to learn more about PCI’s Career Tech Ed Medical Courses? Visit our CTE web page.

As a senior, Ruslan took the Medical Assistant class which was a hybrid of virtual and in-person sessions as we were mid-pandemic. Again, Ruslan had perfect attendance and excelled in the class not only academically, but also as a leader. Most admirable was that he took the time to create study guides from his detailed notes, upload those guides to the Quizlet.com website and shared them with his classmates. As you may remember, he was awarded the PCI/HPCS CTE Scholarship at his graduation ceremony.

I can’t talk about Ruslan without mentioning that he encouraged a few classmates to join him in applying for the paid internship program at Kaiser Permanente. Yes, they all were accepted! Over the summer, Ruslan sent me weekly updates on his experiences while at Kaiser. No, I was not surprised when he told me that they asked him to stay on for additional weeks!

I must talk about the most amazing part of Ruslan’s story…so far! He took and passed the EKG Technician national certification exam shortly after graduation! Then less than two months later, Ruslan took and passed the national certification exam for Medical Assistant! Yes, this son of PCI is officially a nationally certified Medical Assistant and EKG Technician! Our program works!

Thank you, Dr. Keefer for having the vision to pursue this program for PCI. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to touch the lives of our students. I believe there are other students that share Ruslan’s story, or circumstances, or desire, and/or work ethic seeking the right opportunity…the door to their future in the medical field.

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