In January 2020, Yazmyn Chavez reached a goal that she’d been working toward for several years: She enrolled in college in the United States.
After growing up in Colorado until age 15, Yazmyn’s family abruptly moved to Mexico, where she graduated high school and started college at Universidad Autónoma De Chihuahua Facultad De Medicina. She had plans to become a medical doctor one day, but she was eager to return to Colorado to continue her studies.
Dreaming of Medical School
“Considering my love of science, medicine is the only career that ever made sense to me,” says Yazmyn. “At a young age, I’d come home from school and watch “The Dr. Oz Show.” The medical explanations always intrigued me and the difference that health care professionals make in peoples’ lives inspired me to want to follow that path one day myself.”
Getting where she is today has been no small feat, however. Yazmyn returned to Colorado in 2018 to live with her older brother. She got a job and worked for a year to become eligible for in-state residency. Then, she started doing her research to find the best place to begin her college education.
Front Range Came Recommended
Yazmyn’s older sister had taken classes at FRCC and encouraged her to do the same. “I’m a first-generation college student,” she says. “So, any advice and experience on higher education or guidance on my academic goals I had to find through a mentor.”
After more research, she has decided she wants to apply to a Physician Assistant (PA) program instead of medical school. “PAs have excellent lateral mobility,” she says. “That versatility became attractive to me as well as the team-based care and the relationships you develop with patients. Prior clinical experience is highly valued too.” Because of her pre-medical school classes in Mexico and bilingual abilities, Yazmyn was able to get a job as a medical assistant at a pain management doctor’s office in Greenwood Village.
Online Learning: A New Experience
Yazmyn’s employer is about an hour’s commute from her home in Thornton, so when she resumed her college studies in January, it became clear that online would be the only way. “I took Human Anatomy and Physiology, English Composition, Humanities, College Algebra and Ethics,” she says. “It was a full-time schedule plus I was adapting to a new job. However, I know that great things never come from comfort zones. The online setup greatly facilitated my schedule and I am extremely happy about the outcome.”
Thinking About the Future
Yazmyn hopes to transfer into a bachelor’s program in biomedical sciences or something similar by spring 2021. Then, she’ll start looking at PA schools, which will be a master’s degree program. FRCC has been the perfect way to start.
“For online courses, it is imperative that you practice self-discipline and meet deadlines. It’s not the easy route by any means,” she says. “I’m convinced that I didn’t just ‘luck out’ with a semester of great teachers. FRCC has an excellent staff that really wants to help students achieve their goals. I’d highly recommend that other students take online classes. It’s a different way of learning, but when you adjust and see the positive results, it’s the most rewarding feeling.”