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A Pandemic Pivot

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The San Marcos Promise and Pima Medical Institute’s Partnership Continues to Thrive despite COVID-19 Challenges

As many know, school systems across the country have been challenged to pivot and provide quality education for their students in unique and unprecedented ways. Whether it is trying to navigate virtual or in-person learning, the San Marcos Unified School District is seeing the same challenges as many schools across the country. Parents and teachers have been forced to adjust in ways they never thought they would have to.

When the school district needs help, nonprofit, The San Marcos Promise can step in and provide additional support. Some of that support comes through an ongoing public/private partnership with Pima Medical Institute. This first-of-it’s kind partnership in the North San Diego County area is providing a vital resource for students and parents in the community.

High school coordinators, Rogelio “Roy” Huerta and Amanda Yantzer
High school coordinators, Rogelio “Roy” Huerta and Amanda Yantzer

Rogelio “Roy” Huerta and Amanda Yantzer, are Education Coordinators. Employed officially by Pima Medical Institute, this dynamic duo works with high school students throughout the San Marcos Unified School District, adding their support to an already busy team of school counselors.

An important project the two have been responsible for is the Future You Initiative (FYI). This series of wildly popular workshops helps high school students prepare for life after high school through educational and hands-on learning exercises. Everything from career exploration to understanding how to establish and boost a credit score is taught in these workshops.

Whether the student is planning to attend a traditional four-year university, or if a career or technical education is on the horizon, Huerta and Yantzer are there to help guide students in the direction that best suits their individual strengths, interests, and values. Something that is invaluable in the eyes of The San Marcos Promise organization.

“While talent is universal, opportunity is not,” said Lisa Stout, Executive Director, The San Marcos Promise. “Each one of our students deserves the opportunity to discover his or her interests and acquire the skills to thrive in the 21st Century workforce. It is up to us to make the investment in our young people and provide them with the needed resources and social capital to ensure their options for higher education are accessible.”

With that in mind, the Education Coordinators were not going to let a worldwide pandemic stop them from assisting their students. The in-person workshops turned to virtual learning sessions, and the two were able to provide two sessions every Monday, Wednesday and Friday since April. Must-Know Mondays focuses on job and career readiness such as resume writing, professional communication, and interview skills. Work-Force Wednesdays explores career opportunities in various industries and Finance Fridays helps to increase the students’ comprehension of money management and real-world finance scenarios.

The Education Coordinators also provide monthly personal finance classes via Zoom.

According to one student who is a junior at TOHS, “Before working with Mrs. Amanda I didn’t think I had any skills to put on a resume. I learned that I really do have experience to write about and am proud of my resume. She even helped me with interviewing and gave me a cute business outfit from the career closet to wear. I feel confident now that I can get a job!”

All the hard work has provided nearly 500 students so far with additional knowledge and tools as they prepare to enter an uncertain world.

These are just a few examples of the importance of private/public partnerships like the one we have with The San Marcos Promise,” said Fred Freedman, President and CEO, Pima Medical Institute. “We believe in being stewards in the communities we serve, and whether a student ultimately chooses Pima Medical Institute, or another higher education institution or goes directly into the job market, we want students to be prepared and armed with the tools to succeed in life-after-high school.”

The San Marcos Promise partnership, while one of the first for Pima Medical Institute, is most certainly not the only one. The medical career college, founded back in 1972, has active partnerships throughout Arizona, Montana and Washington State.

Visit these websites for more information on the San Marcos Promise or Pima Medical Institute.

About Pima Medical Institute
Pima Medical Institute is an employee-owned, private, accredited school dedicated to providing students classroom studies paired with real-world training at medical facilities. Established in 1972, Pima Medical Institute helps students become career ready, focusing exclusively on health care professions, including medical, dental, veterinary and nursing fields. Curriculum includes certificate, associate degree and bachelor’s degree programs.

Pima Medical Institute operates 18 campuses as well as an extensive online curriculum. The medical career college has a presence in eight western states with the following ground locations: Albuquerque and Albuquerque West – Rio Rancho in N.M.; Tucson, Phoenix and two campuses in Mesa, Ariz.; Aurora, Denver and Colorado Springs, Colo.; Seattle and Renton, Wash.; Las Vegas, N.V.; Houston, El Paso and San Antonio, Texas; Chula Vista and San Marcos, Calif.; and Dillon, Mont. For more information and a complete list of programs offered at each campus, visit pmi.edu or call 1-888-442-5998.

About The San Marcos Promise
The San Marcos Promise is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization developed by the San Marcos Unified School District in an effort to expand the availability of post-secondary education scholarships for high school graduates.

Media Contact | Diane Smith, Pima Medical Institute | dismith@pmi.edu | 480-320-0142

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