SBBCollege Santa Barbara recently held a commencement ceremony for their graduating class of 2012. Honoring their grads, the ceremony included a keynote speech from Santa Barbara Police Chief Cam Sanchez, as well as student speeches reflecting on their time at Santa Barbara Business College.
Rogelio S., graduate of the Santa Barbara college’s medical assisting program, shared his experience at SBBC and described how he became a student, a man, and finally, a medical assistant.
Good evening everyone, and welcome to Santa Barbara Business College graduation ceremony of 2012.
My name is Rogelio Schulte and today I will be sharing my personal experience at SBBC. Is there anyone who knew what they wanted to do when they grew up? Knew what they were passionate about? And actually did it? Not me!
Not until a few years ago. Then I realized I wanted to help people. Whether it was spiritual, financial or health related, I really wanted to make a positive impact in people’s lives.
Before I enrolled at SBBC, I was working at an office supply store – stocking heavy boxes, assisting customers, and working 5am shifts. I was helping people, but not quite the way I wanted. I wanted to do more.
One summer, my mother shared news with me about a college that she heard from a friend. With hesitation, I went forward with this opportunity. Feeling anxious and curious, I called SBBC and asked for a consultation appointment. Later that week, I visited the College for the first time, and I remember like it was just yesterday. My hands were sweaty, with butterflies in my stomach, feeling as if I was about to ask my girlfriend out for the first time.
I opened the entrance to the College, and felt the cool breeze from the air conditioning relax me, and heard nothing but the sound of my footsteps as I walked in. Soon a very nice young lady assisted me with the consultation. She explained how the College had multiple programs, and so forth. One program in particular really got my attention – and that program was medical assisting. This was the start of a new beginning for me.
My early experience at SBBC was phenomenal. Our faculty was great. One teacher in particular inspired me. Not only did he look just like Bill Nye “The Science Guy,” but he had the same energy and enthusiasm that would go around the room. I could not help but to listen. He gave me an image of what I could become when helping others.
The entire faculty was individuals who had great personalities and teaching skills that lit a fire in me. Call it maturity on my part, but I never had so much fun learning in school.
Unfortunately, college was not as simple as I thought it would be. It was not that the classes were too difficult, but as I passed a few semesters, I began to lose sight of my main goal. Skeletons from my past started to pull me in, and college became extremely difficult. I would miss classes to go hang out with friends. I would not finish my assignments. I was not taking college seriously. Above all, I began to doubt myself. I started building a nightmare of a routine. Soon after, failing classes was what I was becoming good at.
As my skeletons pulled me in deeper, I took a couple of semesters off trying to get my head back in the game. I believed that taking a break would get me re-motivated and I would be able to give it my all as soon as I began college again. But boy was I wrong. Being young in a beautiful city like Santa Barbara, there are many distractions. It is very easy to get sucked into the night life – making it harder for me to focus on my education.
I started college again, but my old habits still lingered. Someone once said, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Looking back, I was a bit insane. I had no idea the hole I was digging myself in to.
Fortunately, I had help. Four words – Santa Barbara Business College.
SBBC was like a second family to me. The people gave me the tools that I needed to succeed. Business instructor Laura taught me with tough love. Her dominant teaching really pushed me to try harder.
Reshan, the medical instructor, taught me with patience; she would always answer the bizarre medical questions that I asked. She taught me how to always give people and myself chances.
Mr. Diaz taught me to dress for success. He taught me how to conduct myself in the big complicated world out there.
Mr. B. was my favorite instructor. He taught me about respect. He respected me as a student, no matter how bad I was doing. He taught me how to respect myself.
Betsy is the sweetheart. I always felt safe around her. She taught me how to always be kind to difficult people.
Andy the dean that refused to give up on his students, he taught me to never give up on my dreams.
While I am in the process of thanking people, let me thank the most important people to me – my family. They always believed in me; even when I didn’t have an inch of belief in myself.
As a result of all of this help, I found myself as a student, as a man, and as a medical assistant working at American Indian Health and Services. So if anyone is having health problems, come on by, my team and I will do what we can to help all of you.
In closing, let me share with you how I feel right now. I feel proud, I feel hope, I feel we did it. We did it!
Congratulations to Roy and the rest of the graduating class of 2012 – you did it!