(Left to Right) Maiesha Kif, Community Relations Manager, Los Angeles Urban League; Jamecca Marshall, Director of Programs, Los Angeles Urban League; Kennedi Harris, Graduate, UCLA Medical Assistant Program; Shavon Gray, Graduate, UCLA Medical Assistant Program; Nakia Guillory-Flores, Director of UCLA Medical Assistant Program and Adisa Cartwright, Associate Dean, UCLA Medical Assistant Program. (LAUL Photo)

As many non-profit organizations search for ways to manage the ongoing disruptions caused by COVID-19, the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL) continues its immense commitments to help its constituents transform their lives. Recently, one of LAUL’s programs, which was established in collaboration with UCLA Medical Assistant Program, graduated two students. Kennedi Harris and Shavon Gray, the two women who graduated from the yearlong program, offered words of encouragement to the incoming class of students present at the reception. Both of the young women will start working as national Medical Assistant 3 and Lobotomy Technicians this month. Working with UCLA’s patients and staff in their clinics afforded Miss Harris and Miss Gray the opportunity to get hired immediately after their graduation from the yearlong program.

“We are here to honor our graduates who today are receiving their national certifications. Here at the Los Angeles Urban League, we take pride in offering our services to the constituents we serve. This Medical Assistant Program is one of several opportunities we offer the community to engage with us,” said Jamecca Marshall, Director of Programs, Los Angeles Urban League. “We thank UCLA, Nakia Guillory-Flores, Director of the UCLA Medical Assistant Program and Adisa Cartwright, Associate Dean of UCLA Medical Assistant Program for collaborating with us.

The Los Angeles Urban League and UCLA Medical Assistant Program are intentional on advocating and advancing health equality. The program’s goal is not only to graduate students to work in healthcare, but also to give them a voice to speak on behalf of patients, especially those who look like them. Diversity and advocacy are important and are part of the training the students receive in the program. The importance of MA 3 graduates to confidently speak on behalf of patients is one of the services they provide to the community. Many alumni from the program have gone on to do exciting things in healthcare.

“The reason why this is important is usually some level of experience is needed to get a position as a MA 3. Our hands-on training is rigorous; the students get the opportunity to receive instructions for up to 150 to 200 hours of training in our clinics. So, for someone to come out of nowhere and graduate from our program, it’s outstanding, “said Adisa Cartwright. “We are here to support you. If you keep showing up and doing your best, you’ll make it. It’s worth it at the end.”

“I am exciting to have you all here this morning. I hope that Kennedi and Shavon can inspire you to graduate from the program. The program is rigorous, but after the training you receive from us, we can

attest you will pass the certification examination and obtain your medical assistant 3 certifications,” remarked Nakia Guillory-Flores. “I am happy to learn that several of our new students are from local schools. We are here to advocate for everyone, especially for those who look like us. We thank the Los Angeles Urban League for allowing our students this opportunity and collaborating with us.”

“I can attest how the Urban League helped me and the community. This is something I have always aspire to do. I know that I will go further and obtain my Registered Nurse degree, and I promised to stay in touch with everyone. I am truly grateful for this opportunity.” said Shavon Gray. “I want to thank Miss Nakia for working with me. Even when I wanted to give up, she inspired me to continue working diligently. I completed the class,” remarked Kennedi Harris. “I say to the new class don’t give up, it’s worth it in the end. I also thank my parents. They are my support system. They always believe in me.”

Leo Hill 111, Job Developer, The Brotherhood Crusade, made the following remarks, “we make sure young people succeed in school and in life. We have a plethora of opportunities that’s offered to young people. One such program is Hire LA where we offer paid internship. You get up to 150 hours of paid internship and training at a work site of your choice.  We break through barriers to make sure you succeed.”

“I am so happy for all of you who are gathered here to learn what the Los Angeles Urban League family is. It is going to be a long-lasting family for the next 100 years. Our hope is that after you are successful in your careers, you’ll come back and share your expertise and mentor those in the community who are coming behind you. I would like to see more faces of people who look like us in clinics and healthcare companies, said Maiesha Kif, Community Relations Manager, Los Angeles Urban League. “We are building a pipeline so that our students get to where they need to be. Our goal is to make certain you complete this program successfully. This is a steppingstone for you to gain livable wages and enjoy a sustainable life.”

For more information about the Medical Assistant Program visit Laul.Org/MedAssistant