Ceremony honors 95 healthcare and industrial grads

Ricardo Parra
Ricardo Parra

AVONDALE, Arizona – The SouthWest Skill Center (SWSC) at Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC), one of ten Maricopa Community Colleges, recently celebrated the accomplishments of 95 students at their Fall 2014 Completion Ceremony.

The Nov. 20 ceremony honored and recognized students receiving their Certificates of Completion in the college’s Industrial and Healthcare programs. The largest cohort class was the Spanish Medical Interpreter program with 33 graduates, followed by 25 in Medical Assistant, 19 in Phlebotomy, 15 in Medical Billing and Coding, and three in Industrial Electronics Technology.

Ricardo Parra, one of the 33 Medical Interpreters, was selected to speak at the Completion Ceremony based on his accomplishments. Parra’s native language Spanish, complemented by his fluent English, thoughtful articulation of speech, and knowledge he developed through the program, provided him with a new job immediately after graduation.

Parra started his early career in the construction field. After marriage and his first child, he and his wife decided that he would assume the role of stay-at-home dad. Seven years later, Parra decided he was ready to pursue a new career that could provide professional opportunities for advancement. Upon the encouragement of his wife who said he had a talent for bi-lingual communication, Parra researched his options and discovered the Spanish Medical Interpreter program and EMCC.

"Ricardo is one of the first group of students sent to Banner Thunderbird Hospital for his externship and the first student to be hired there in a full time position after his outstanding performance," said Karee Peigné, SWSC Manager of the Medical Interpreter Program and Allied Healthcare Externships.