Bakersfield Adult School
Adult education opens doors for adults who need to change how they support themselves and their families. Tina Martin, knows this and is grateful for the new knowledge and skills Bakersfield Adult School’s (BAS) Pharmacy Technician class gave her. "My husband and I have our own mechanic’s business and in addition to helping him with the business I was also very involved with my children in their schools. I kept very busy, but when my husband became critically ill at age 40, I knew I was going to have to acquire new skills to get a well-paying job with benefits."
Tina came to Bakersfield’s Employers Training Resource (ETR) center to find out what options were available. "They said I should enroll in BAS’s Pharmacy Technician class." She says this was the best thing that could have happened. "I discovered that the more I learned [about pharmaceuticals] the more I want to learn." Tina credits her success in the program to teachers and fellow students.
She especially remembers the support and encouragement her teacher, Jennifer Butler, gave her when the eventual setbacks occurred. "I always believed that Ms. Butler knew I could do this. I just had to keep working hard to learn everything." Math was a particular challenge for Tina. "Without the help from a fellow student I don’t know how I would have gotten through the math portion of the program."
These times were not always painless for Tina or her family, however. "My being in the Pharmacy Tech class was hard on my children and husband. They were very used to my being available for them as well as taking care of the house. Now, everyone was expected to pitch in, and that was quite a challenge. However, we have created a system, and the experience has been valuable for my children. They learned how to work together, how to rely on themselves, and how to be responsible for specific jobs around the house."
Now a senior pharmacy technician with a local county medical center, Tina cannot wait to move forward with her education and career. She plans to enroll in the BAS Anatomy and Physiology class in August. The next step after that is to complete her Bachelor of Science degree so she can get into pharmacy school. She says she has about twelve more years before she completes all the required education to reach her ultimate goal of becoming a pharmacist.
"For me, being a pharmacy technician is very rewarding. I touch peoples’ lives when they come to the pharmacy for their prescriptions," says Tina. "Together with co-workers at the medical center, we applied for a received a $4.25 million grant to provide free drugs to indigent patients." These are just a few aspects of her career that she finds very fulfilling.
"Bakersfield Adult School enabled me to meet my goal of learning the skills and knowledge I needed to begin my career and help support my family."