Jackie's Story

Jackie White’s determination reveals itself in her eyes. They burn with confidence – that at 58 years old she can earn her way into a completely new career in health care.

“People will always need health care. That’s why I know that’s the way to go,” said Jackie, a Cranston resident who once lived in New York City in the Bronx.

In Rhode Island, she had a good job as a customer service representative in the insurance industry, But that job ended and Jackie is now working hard to shift careers.

Her effort led her to Stepping Up Rhode Island, a program that helps job seekers find “high-growth, high-demand” careers in health care.

Dorcas Place Adult and Family Learning Center is a partner with Stepping Up Rhode Island – which is how Jackie then found herself enrolled at Dorcas.

Jackie’s health care education began with a course in medical billing, coding and medical terminology. At Dorcas Place “they tested me and found my writing skills needed to improve,” Jackie said. “So I worked hard to be a better writer, and also improved my computer skills on Excel and PowerPoint.” After that, there were lessons in how to dress, how to make a good first impression. She and her instructors role played as though Jackie were in an office setting. “It was like the game ‘Pictionary,’” she said. This led to an internship at Rhode Island Hospital.

Jackie expresses confidence that she is now ready for a health care career in medical records. She has also explored a career as a hospital pathology department control clerk. She is upbeat about her prospects, though she said there was also a time earlier on this journey when she got frustrated. “I got a little depressed there for awhile,” she said. “But that doesn’t get you anywhere.

Jackie attributes much of her new career readiness to Dorcas Place. “I wouldn’t be at this point if it weren’t for the programs and the contacts they have at Dorcas Place,” she said. “It’s really a blessing.”

She did not hesitate to declare, “I am very confident I will get a job.”

You could see that in her eyes.