Michele Duffy is from San Francisco, and she’s always thought of herself as empathetic. “Even as a little girl, I’d comfort family members when they were sad or sick. I liked making them feel better.” Michele wanted to be a nurse, but she struggled academically. “I had ADHD, which wasn’t really recognized back then, and I ended up dropping out of school.” At 24, Michele got her GED. Soon after, she married and started a family.
What Brought Michele to CCSF
Over the years, Michele worked a variety of jobs to support her family, and most recently, she was doing administrative work at a start-up company. “Then I got laid off and thought now’s the time to go back to school.” Michele still dreamed of being a nurse, and now that her kids were teenagers with her husband working a steady job, it was feasible. “At my age, I didn’t want to spend four years going to nursing school, so when I discovered the medical assisting program at CCSF, it grabbed my attention.”
Michele's CCSF Experience
Michele enrolled at CCSF, but a few months in, she needed brain surgery. After a year of recovery, she came back determined to succeed. “The teachers were all amazing, but some aspects of the program were challenging. I was never great at math, so the medical calculations were hard. I just had to spend more time with it.” Michele liked hands-on classes best, like the phlebotomy lab where she got to practice bloodwork. While at CCSF, Michele completed two internships. “I was absolutely over-prepared, and all the staff said, ‘We love CCSF students. You’re go-getters.’ It worked out really well.”
Why CCSF Was a Good Choice for Michele
Shortly after graduating, Michele attended a career fair at CCSF. “My training and life experience made me a good fit, and a month later I was working in the CMPC Liver Clinic.” Recently, Michele asked to be transferred to the oncology department. She’s there now, working as both a medical assistant and a phlebotomy technician. “It’s hard emotionally, but the good outweighs the bad. The other day a patient told me, ‘You know, it’s been six weeks since my first visit, and I couldn’t have done it without you. You made me feel it was okay to be here, no matter what.’ That made me so happy. It’s how I know I’m doing a good job and making a difference. That’s what I always wanted.”