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  • Writer's pictureRKPROST

Mariah Hamp starts career in healthcare in less than one year of living in Minnesota

Medical Administrative Assistant Program Graduate

Mariah Hamp '22 has lived in Minnesota for less than a year, and has already earned an industry-recognized certificate from Summit Academy OIC and started her new job.


Hamp, a Chicago native and single mother, moved to Minnesota to pursue a career in the healthcare field. “I’m tired of working jobs that only pay $14-16 per hour. I’m about to be 26 years old, and I only have a high school diploma. I’m ready to start my career,” said Hamp.


Hamp came across Summit Academy OIC while researching GED programs for her friend.

After continuing her research about Summit’s vocational programs, Hamp enrolled in the Medical Administrative Assistant training program. “I felt like I was at a transitioning point in my life, and Summit was my gateway to step into the medical field without having to go to school for 6+ years.”


Summit ensures that students’ tuition is paid for entirely by grants, scholarships, and contracts, which Hamp greatly appreciated. “I quit my job to come to Summit. It’s a beneficial sacrifice to see yourself go further from where you started. It was a risk I was willing to take.”


During her first month at Summit, Hamp experienced a lot of self-doubt, considered dropping out, and struggled to grasp her medical terminology class. However, her Business English course discussed different learning styles. Once Hamp identified herself as a kinesthetic learner, she discovered strategies that helped her persist through her coursework.


In addition to learning the technical aspects of being a medical administrative assistant, Hamp also learned career readiness skills. “I haven’t written a cover letter in years. I love the career development part of the class because it gives me a refresher,” said Hamp.


The supportive atmosphere at Summit inspired Hamp to consider her next steps in higher education. “I’ve always seen myself as a helping person, but being at Summit helped me envision myself as a nurse and potentially a doctor,” said Hamp. For now, though, Hamp works as a Patient Services Coordinator at Children’s Minnesota and pursuing her Associate of Science at Herzing University.


“My biggest thing coming here to Minnesota, in general, was to become a new person. The old me wasn’t as committed, but now I have something that I want to accomplish, and I want to grow.”

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