Slawson Student Success Story

From Special Education Assistant to Medical Office Administration, An Inspiring Interview

Leaving the stability of a job that you thoroughly enjoy, in search for a new career opportunity, can be a little scary. Beatriz Gutierrez knew early in life that her passion was helping people. After graduating from Huntington Park High School, she dedicated herself for over 23 years as a Special Education Assistant in Los Angeles Unified School District at several elementary schools. An experienced teacher assistant for 2 decades, Beatriz realized that as rewarding and fulfilling as it was working with children with special needs, the job became a physical challenge for her. She knew it was time for a career change.   Beatriz recalled completing a computer class at an adult school in prior years and looked to the adult school once again for a different career training opportunity.  She decided that Slawson Southeast Occupational Center was the school to embark on a new profession where using her passion for working with people was a primary focus.

Her educational journey at Slawson Southeast Occupational Center will prepare her for a career in Medical Office Administration. Not allowing the temporary school shut-down during the pandemic to get in the way of her preparation, Beatriz took full advantage of online classes. She is currently enrolled in the Medical Office Administration and Administrative Assistant Programs at Slawson Occupational Center and is on track to complete both programs very soon. The opportunity to complete some classes online and others in-person provides her the flexibility to continue her love of tutoring youth at her local library, something she has done for many years.  Tutoring allows her to give back to her community and to fulfill her strong desire and sense of responsibility to help others. Beatriz’ career aspirations in her next chapter of employment includes seeking a job with the Los Angeles County in a medical or hospital facility or perhaps at a USC-related facility.

When asked about what she has found challenging about her educational endeavors, she responded, “time management.” She said that she finally figured out how to stay organized throughout the day and discipline herself to complete class assignments for both programs, continue her tutoring obligations, and still have time to relax in the morning and drink her coffee before starting her busy day. Beatriz recognizes the great teachers at Slawson like Ms. Padilla, Ms. Rodriguez, and Ms. Rosario. She highly encourages others who are hesitating to try something new, to just come to school and try it! The staff and instructors are very supportive. She said that “we often stop ourselves from taking a different pathway that can lead to something life-changing. School is an opportunity for individuals to train for a career where you can say that you did something for others, had a job that gave you and your family financial stability, but most importantly, that you accomplished something in life that made you happy!”

The Slawson Southeast Occupational Center faculty and staff thank Beatriz Gutierrez for her inspirational story of hard-work, can-do attitude, and giving back to her community. Best of luck to her in fulfilling her happiness!