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Medical Assistant Program Graduate

"I'm so grateful for the opportunity I was given. It's been wonderful for me."
Rylee ed

During the pandemic, Rylee was hospitalized with COVID-19. Prohibited from having visitors, she felt alone and terrified. However, the kindness of a UPMC Hamot PCT, who took the time to offer equal measures of compassion and companionship, inspired Rylee to seek a career in the medical field.

“I knew I wanted to get into health care, but I didn’t know how,” Rylee recalls. Then, a family member recommended ECAT’s Certified Medical Assistant program, which Rylee was shocked to learn offered tuition-free training. Thanks to a $1 million investment in the program by Hamot Health Foundation, Rylee was able to complete her training at no cost and is now employed as a Medical Assistant at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center in Cranberry, PA.

“This has been the most life-changing experience,” Rylee says. “Before ECAT, I was on government health insurance and food stamps. This is the first time in my life that I haven’t qualified for any of that. I’m safe and feel secure. This is the most stable I’ve ever been – mentally, emotionally, and financially.”

Beyond the stability, Rylee is working in a role she loves. “My favorite part of my job is the patients. I really feel like I am making a meaningful difference and impacting people's lives. It’s a really fulfilling job,” Rylee shares.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity I was given. It’s been wonderful for me.”