For as long as Jayme Thomas can remember, she knew she wanted to work in medicine. The kind of kid who would flip through anatomy books for fun, she grew up wanting to be a doctor.
“I used to watch all of the E.R. and doctor-related shows on TV,” she said. “I’m the first one in my family to show an interest in the field. Everyone thought I’d grow out of it, but I never did.”
Jayme’s family moved to Twin Falls from southern California during her sophomore year in high school. Her dad, who worked for Ford Motor Company, transferred there for his job. A few days after graduating in 2011, Jayme decided she was going back to California. She got a job at Disneyland as a lifeguard, and studied biology at Cal State-Fullerton. Things were right on track. Then one day, Jayme received a life-altering phone call. Her father was diagnosed with a brain tumor and needed extensive surgery.
“One instance changed my entire life when my dad got sick,” she said. “My parents always encouraged me to go to college. They told me they would pay for it. But after my dad got sick, that all changed. I had to become realistic about what I could afford.”
Jayme moved back to Idaho to help her mom take care of her dad. The entire family moved to Nampa so he could be closer to his doctors, and she went to work full time. After her goal of becoming a doctor took a drastic turn, she ended up choosing the next best affordable thing.
“I chose the Emergency Medical Technician program at CWI,” she said. “I knew what I wanted to do in life, so I just needed to make it happen. I chose CWI because it is reasonably priced, has a good reputation, and it is conveniently located.”
Once Jayme made the decision to enroll, she had to wait to get in. She was finally able to start in January. A few weeks short of completing the program in May, she received word she was selected for the College’s Workforce Development Board-Designated EMT Scholarship—something she forgot she had applied for last October.
“I was excited to receive it because it was such a hardship for me to go to school,” she said.
Jayme’s dream of working in the medical field has finally come true. She is now nationally certified, and working as an EMT in Pennsylvania. Her ultimate goal is to work for Life Flight or a water tactical rescue team.
Scholarship opportunities are available to help cover some or all of the costs associated with classes offered through CWI’s Workforce Development. Call 208.562.2700 for more information.