Name: Erika Thomas
High School: Lakewood/West Shore Career-Technical District
Immediate Next Step: Bryant & Stratton College
When Erika Thomas started the Medical Office Management program in August of 2009, there were doubts that she would graduate from high school. Slowly the absence and discipline issues of the past gave way to achievement, however. She found new friends, was promoted at a fast-food job, completed college applications, and even took a college course during her senior year.
In 2011, she received the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce Work Ethic Award and Lakewood / Rocky River Rotary Outstanding Student Award for the Medical Office Management program. She also received two scholarships of $1,000 each from the Lakewood PTA and Lakewood Junior Women’s Club – a total of $2,000 that will be matched by another $2,000 from Bryant & Stratton College.
“Not only has Erika become an exemplary student, she is well mannered, punctual, and always willing to help out in the classroom, on the job, and with her fellow students,” said Dolores Martin, Medical Office Management teacher. “Erika is an inspiration and role model for any student; never give up!”
Erika's Future, Appreciation and Advice
Q. Where do you see yourself in five years?
A. I will be living in my own house and working as a registered nurse for an Ohio hospital.
Q. What’s the best part of your Ohio education experience so far, including one person (teacher, parent or other), who contributed to that?
A. I didn’t like school and didn’t see much point in it until I started Mrs. (Dolores) Martin’s Medical Office Management program. Just about everything about that program – the volunteering, seeing how what I did in high school fit with what I would do after – I liked. She didn’t give up on me. She turned me around. I especially enjoyed volunteering in the Cleveland Clinic Lakewood Hospital Pain Management Department.
Q. What’s one piece of advice you would give to a current high school freshman?
A. Stay in school, work hard on your education and get a part-time job to learn responsibility. Friends are important but don’t make them more important than what you plan to do after high school.
More information about this story can be obtained from Pat Huston at firstname.lastname@example.org.