Career & Technical Education Month Spotlights Jessica Benson
Today’s cutting-edge, rigorous and relevant career and technical education (CTE) prepares youth and adults for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, high-demand careers. As MACC celebrates, we begin our Student Spotlight for February 5-11th: Jessica Benson, Practical Nursing Certificate Program.
Jessica is a non-traditional student returning to the classroom in order to pursue a nursing degree. Employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups. This projected growth is mainly due to an aging population, leading to greater demand for healthcare services.
The median annual wage for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (such as registered nurses, physicians and surgeons, and dental hygienists) was $63,420 in May 2016, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations in the economy of $37,040.
Name: Jessica Benson
Program you are enrolled in at MACC: PN
What did you want to be when you were a child? Rich and Famous
What called you to the Career & Technical Education Degree Program you are enrolled in? I have worked in EMS for 4 years and nursing seemed like the next logical step. I would like to be able to travel and help less fortunate communities. A nursing license will give me more opportunities to be able to do that.
What is your greatest memory/achievement in this CTE Program? So far, my greatest accomplishment has been making through finals week. My oldest daughter had a very severe MVA the same week and by the grace of God I am still here.
What has been the greatest challenge in this CTE Program? Balancing home life and school life and I miss my job. I work for a great place and with amazingly intelligent and kind people.
What advice would you give others about this CTE Program? Every weekend make a schedule for the next week. Set out time to cook, do house work, go shopping, gym time doctor appointments, time for homework. And stick to it. Make it a top priority in your life.
Who in this CTE Program or Related Industry (Community/Business) do you look up to as a role model/explain? Betty Baker and Linda Maloney are both nurses that I have privileged to work closely with. They are kind, smart, caring women. Both of them are strong and independent in their own individual ways and id like to become more like these two ladies.
Favorite class taken in the CTE Program you are enrolled in/explain: I liked the personal vocational concepts class the most. It was an unexpected class that taught me things about myself. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in every day life and meeting new people that we easily lose ourselves. Its nice to be able to find yourself and “meet” the current version of you that maybe you didn’t even realize you had become.
What would be your professional/personal motto (or quote)? When life is at its hardest and it seems like no one else is there for you be your own cheerleader and get over the hurdles!!!
What is the biggest overall lesson you have learned during your educational journey?I have to put more into this than I did in high school. Learning isn’t as easy in my 30’s as it was in my teens! Time management is vital to success, at least for me.
If you think you may be interested in one of our health occupation degree programs, check out our website to see what you need to do to get started! The next application deadline is set for the RN program (Associate Degree Nursing) due March 15th. The next Practical Nursing program application deadline is due June 1st.