VGCC recognizes 22 Medical Assisting students at Pinning

Vance-Granville Community College held a pinning ceremony for its 2016 Medical Assisting program graduates on Aug. 5 at the college’s Franklin County Campus in Louisburg, where the program is conducted.

Seated, from left: graduating Medical Assisting students Kenia Puga-Gomez, Amanda Newton, Jenny Clark, Heather Harwood, Brittany Blacknall and Samantha Patterson; standing, from left: Medical Assisting Program Head Donna Gardner with graduating students Kayla Hutson, Dallas Glover, Kelly Tharrington, Kimberly Richardson, Jessica Crudup, Regina Hicks, Jodi Hess, Tonya Henderson and Shatory Yarborough; not pictured: graduates Julius Glasper, Ashley Kittrell, Stephanie Ranes, Brittany Ray, Adrienne Robertson, Denise Six and Lindsay Ward. (VGCC photo)

As VGCC’s program is nationally accredited, the graduates are now eligible to sit for the American Association of Medical Assistants’ (AAMA) certification examination to become Certified Medical Assistants.

The 22 graduates being honored included Heather Harwood and Kimberly Richardson, both of Castalia; Amanda Newton and Shatory Yarborough, both of Franklinton; Jenny Clark, Tonya Henderson, Kenia Puga-Gomez, Stephanie Ranes and Adrienne Robertson, all of Henderson; Ashley Kittrell of Kittrell; Brittany Blacknall, Jessica Crudup, Jodi Hess, Regina Hicks and Lindsay Ward, all of Louisburg; Julius Glasper of Oxford; Kayla Hutson and Samantha Patterson, both of Stem; Brittany Ray and Denise Six, both of Wake Forest; Kelly Tharrington of Warrenton; and Dallas Glover of Youngsville.

Program Head/instructor Donna Gardner served as the mistress of ceremonies. Student Regina Hicks provided the invocation.

Franklin County Campus Dean Bobbie Jo May made welcoming remarks, congratulating the students and thanking their supportive families and friends who had gathered to celebrate the graduates’ success.

“We are all so proud of you, and we’re grateful that you have allowed the VGCC Franklin Campus family to assist in your education, inspiring and supporting you in meeting all of your goals,” May told the class.

Samantha Patterson, who led the graduating class as president of the VGCC Student Association of Medical Assistants chapter, was the featured speaker.

“Our studies at Vance-Granville Community College have culminated in this day, and will echo in our futures,” Patterson said. “Some of us will be working; some going on to pursue an associate’s degree; some may still be trying to figure things out, and that’s okay, too. Therein lies the beauty of life, and, more specifically, life in this country. We have the freedom to pursue our own dreams, but let us not be so caught up in ourselves that we forget those that we pledge to serve. After all, we are Medical Assistants. We are the extra sets of hands, eyes, and ears for our providers. We are advocates for our patients. We are a vital part of the team that makes the medical office work. Let us consider the needs of others as we work to fulfill our own.”

Gardner presented each graduate with his or her pin, signifying that each had successfully completed the course of study and was prepared to enter the growing Medical Assisting profession. As they were pinned, VGCC Dean of Health Sciences Angela Thomas read reflections from the graduates about their educational experiences and their career aspirations. Instructor Patrice Allen then led students in reciting the creed of the American Association of Medical Assistants.

Dr. Angela Ballentine, VGCC’s vice president of academic and student affairs, rounded out the ceremony with concluding remarks. “You have wisely chosen a profession in which you can make a difference in the lives of others, and in which there are a variety of career opportunities,” Ballentine told the class. She encouraged all graduates to maintain high standards as professionals and to become lifelong learners. “I know that you will continue to succeed and make us proud as VGCC alumni,” Ballentine said.

Student Tonya Henderson gave the benediction.

With their one-year diplomas in hand, many graduates are continuing their education to complete the two-year associate degree in Medical Assisting. For more information about Medical Assisting, call the Franklin Campus at (919) 496-1567.