(Bradenton, FL—June 9, 2017) Nine students graduated from the Optometric Assisting program at Manatee Technical College on June 8. Graduates were Lauren Jacques, Elida Castillo, Alexis Garza (front, left to right), Julia Garcia, Maria Lopez, Kimberly Zabran (middle, l to r), Maria Mackay, Kiara Green, and Holly McGonigle (top row, left to right).
Graduate Kiara Green gave the speech. She spoke of the struggles that many of them went through during the school year, and how those struggles brought them closer together. “We started out as strangers,” she said, “and now I introduce these ladies as my family and closest friends.”
Internships turned into employment for Green and two of her classmates who were hired by the same employer. One of them, Julia Garcia, said she was one who had struggled as a single mom to return to school. “It was a big decision,” she said, but she’s glad she did.
Green, Garcia, and Holly McGonigle will be working together at the Eye Associates. Two other students have gained employment at the Gulfcoast Eye Center and Vision Works.
The six graduates who took the national certification exam to be Certified Paraoptometric Assistants have passed it. Three are waiting till August to take the exam.