Beckie’s journey to City Colleges of Chicago was an eventful one. She grew up and completed most of her education in Indiana, including getting her bachelor’s degree at Butler University and her master’s degree at Indiana University. She then embarked on a career teaching music education in Chicago while raising a family; a part of her life that lasted nearly two decades.

Her experience teaching allowed her to receive a Master of Science Education NASA Scholars grant from BP, the oil and gas company. As a result of that, she took classes in physics and biology at Loyola University.

It was that grant that sparked her interest in medicine, which prompted Beckie, 52, to start taking anatomy and physiology classes at Truman College in 2015. By that time, Beckie knew she not only wanted to enter the medical field, but she realized what her ultimate goal was—to become a physician’s assistant.

In the summer of 2017, Beckie was awarded the opportunity to participate as an Atlantis Project Pre-Med Fellow in Athens, Greece. She shadowed doctors in Intensive Care Cardiology, Anesthesiology and Orthopedic Surgery.

Now she’s enrolled in Malcolm X College’s Medical Assistant program – she has completed all of her coursework and just has to finish her rotations and sit for her certification exam. If there’s one person who helped facilitate Beckie’s career change, it’s MXC Medical Assistant Program Director Christine Dzoga. “Christine was so helpful and really took time to understand my situation and goals and to work with me,” said Beckie.

She will finish the Medical Assistant program and hopes to start the Rush or Northwestern Physician’s Assistant program in the fall of 2019.

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