Clinical Assistant

Planned Parenthood, Columbia Willamette

Nancy Espino always wanted to work in the medical field. But as a new mother at 18, she had to put her parenting first and college on hold. A few years later, she learned that desire wasn’t enough. “If you don’t have experience or go to college, it can be difficult to even get your foot in the door,” she says.

Now, a few years later, Nancy is fulfilling her dream. She found a path forward by getting a job as a clinical assistant with Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette (East Portland, Oregon) where SEIU members have Education Fund benefits. When she heard about the Ed Fund, she says “I couldn’t believe that something like that even existed. I thought it was too good to be true.”

Nancy intends to pursue a Medical Assistant degree or certification, and is working on her prerequisites now, by using the Education Fund’s College Courses program to pay for them.

No matter your age, or how long you’ve been away, going back to school can be daunting. “I was so nervous,” Nancy said. “Trying to do everything online can be nerve-wracking. The process can be very stressful”. Thankfully, she found the support she needed through the Education Fund. “Overall, my whole experience with the Ed Fund has been super positive.”

“I am a first-generation child, from two parents who immigrated from Mexico, so going to college is not only impactful for my family, but for my whole life in general. The Education Fund has impacted my life. It’s helping me down the road in the future with my career path and choices.”