Maryam grew up in Iran in a family that recognized the value of education, always pushing her to succeed. When Maryam was accepted to medical school at the age of 18, her father was ecstatic. He died a year later, changing Maryam’s life forever.
As Maryam worked toward completed her degree, her family was busy working on an arranged marriage for her; a common religious and social practice in Iran. Eventually they found Maryam a good match. He was an Iran native who received a civil engineer degree from the University of Cincinnati. Maryam was horrified by the match, but she had to obey her family’s orders.
Maryam married in 1997, five months before graduating medical school. They lived in Iran for a year while she finished her degree and then traveled to Cincinnati to live for good.
In 2000, Maryam had her daughter Tina. “It was the happiest time in my life. I finally had someone that I truly loved and that I could talk to.” As Tina grew up, she taught Maryam to speak English. Every day she’d come home from school and teach her a new word. “Tina was the reason I learned how to drive, speak English, and started talking to people.”
Maryam’s husband soon fell ill. By the time their daughter was 12 years old; he had suffered two heart attacks and had open heart surgery. Following his second heart attack, he was forced to quit working and began receiving disability and social security.
He eventually stopped leaving the house. His displeasure with Maryam grew as she worked multiple factory jobs to keep the family afloat. Maryam quickly knew something needed to be done. She decided to search for help at St. Vincent De Paul, where she was then told about the medical assisting program at Center for Employment Training.
As a physician, Maryam initially felt that a medical assisting certification was beneath her and that there wasn’t anything she could possibly learn, but she gave it a chance. Maryam enrolled in CET in October of 2016. As she sat in her first lecture with her skill coach Lee-Ann, she was amazed at the amount of knowledge and passion she had. “It was a flashback to when I was a medical student at 18!”
A feeling of renewed possibility and purpose overtook Maryam as she began working her way through the curriculum. “I realized that there was so much ahead of me. I loved taking my first test. I was so excited I wanted to take it again.” Maryam was floored by the quality of the instruction she received at CET.
Maryam graduated from CET’s medical assisting program in June 2017 and went on to complete a successful externship at St. Elizabeth Cardiovascular. After completion, she was promptly offered a full time position. Maryam recalls how hard it was to leave CET for her externship. “When I came here sixteen years ago I thought my heart was going to come out of my chest because I missed my family so much. I felt that way when I left CET for my externship; my heart was breaking.”
As Maryam diligently works her way toward earning her MD, she always makes it a point to come home to visit her adoring CET family.