“I've made many people proud, including myself”

An Interview with Che’Quai Abney, Certified Medical Assistant

Many of our fellows that started training in healthcare fields last summer have already begun their careers as certified medical assistants, certified nursing assistants, or sterile processing technicians. Now, these young people are on the front lines of a global pandemic.
This is a deeply sad and frightening moment for us all, but we are bolstered by the phenomenal energy and brilliance of our young people. We wanted to share some of that energy through this interview with Che’Quai Abney. We spoke with her earlier this spring, before COVID-19 had fully hit the United States.
Che’Quai is a New Jersey fellow and a medical assistant at a satellite of Cooper Hospital. We are so glad she made the choice to enter this profession and that she brings such passion and dedication to her work.

Che’Quai at her training program’s completion ceremony

Why did you decide to be a part of Propel America?

Before leaving for college, I was looking for a trade. I didn’t want to be a broke college student. I wanted to find a trade. I was introduced to Propel by my high school counselor. Propel sounded like a great opportunity where I felt like I could benefit long term. I would also be able to continue achieving my goal of going to college while working a decent job.

What is your job?

I am a full time certified medical assistant. I work in an orthopedic oncology office in Cooper Hospital. I work with people that have many different bone cancers and other various bone diseases. My role in the office is to prepare the doctor’s chart and triage patients, meaning I take their height, weight, and pain assessments. My job is to make sure the patient is well taken care of and feels comfortable before the doctor comes in.

What are some ways that Propel helped prepare you for that job?

In my senior year of high school, Ms. Laura [Propel America’s Program Director in New Jersey] helped us with our resumes. We also did a cover letter and a career map for how we could get the job we wanted after high school.
During my medical assistant class at the American Training Center, I received a stipend check, which was very helpful for me. My main focus was school, so having a job during that time would’ve been a distraction, but I still needed to take care of myself financially. I used the stipend to buy my own stethoscope and scrubs, which we needed for class.  

How would you describe Ms. Laura?

Ms. Laura was my mentor. She held my hand through this process and she was someone I could talk to. If I needed any advice, or needed any guidance, she was there for me. She made me realize things I didn’t know about myself, and she saw things in me that I didn’t see at first. She was my advocate.

Che’Quai’s Clinical Medical Administrative Assistant course completion certificate, and two awards, for academic excellence and “most dedicated student.”

How do you feel about what you have accomplished?

I am so proud of myself for making this decision and completing the training course at the top of my class. To be honest, in the beginning, I doubted my decision because I looked at all my friends and their situations. Everyone planned on going to college right after high school, and I felt that I was missing out on that college lifestyle experience. Now, I feel like I have accomplished a lot. I am nineteen years old and working as a medical assistant in a big name hospital. I’ve overcome a lot of personal battles during this journey. I’ve made many people proud, including myself, and I’ve overcome all of the things people said I couldn’t do. I got the chance to speak at the graduation for my class of medical assistants at the American Training Center, and for the class after mine, which was a big accomplishment for me.

I am really happy that I decided to go through with Propel—that was the best decision for me. If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.

***

Today, Che’Quai is focused on keeping her patients safe in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. We are so grateful for her, for our other healthcare fellows, and for their colleagues in the medical field nationwide. 


2 Comments

MYRNA ABNEY ( GRANDMOTHER) · April 29, 2020 at 5:35 pm

WORDS CAN NOT EXPRESS HOW VERY HAPPY AN PROUD OF U MY BABY. I KNEW YOU COULD DO IT I KNOW U WILL CONTINUED TO HO VERY FAR IN THIS FIELD AN MAYBE PROGRESS TO THE NEXT HIGHER LEVEL, ONLY YOU KNOW HOW FAR YOU WANT TO GO IN THAT FIELD !! SO VERY PROUD OF YOU MY BABY..

Tameka Young · April 29, 2020 at 8:02 pm

I am very proud of Che ‘Quai and all of our other students from Camden Academy Charter High School that chose the healthcare pathway and went through the Propel program.

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