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Lauryn Matzke excels at West-MEC medical assisting program

photo of Lauryn Matzke
West-MEC medical assistant program student Lauryn Matzke and her instructor, Stacy Ray. (Submitted Photo/DigitalFreePress)
Lauryn Matzke continues top performer at West-MEC Glendale campus
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Lauryn Matzke is a first-year student at Western Maricopa Education Center, which is a career and technical education public school district based in Glendale.

Ms. Matzke, who lives with cerebral palsy and Type 1 diabetes, decided to begin her medical education with West-MEC’s medical assisting program and is now a top performer, according to a press release.

The medical assisting program at West-MEC is a high school program focused on preparing students with clinical and administrative knowledge to jumpstart their careers in the medical field, representatives of West-MEC tell the Digital Free Press.

Ms. Matzke suffered a stroke when she was 1-day old, causing hemiplegic cerebral palsy, a condition she will live with for the rest of her life, the release states.

“You should never be afraid to be yourself or feel ashamed of who you are; instead, you should embrace it wholeheartedly,” Ms. Matzke said in a prepared statement. “If you are living with a lifelong condition, accept who you are and stay true to yourself.”

Stacy Ray, an instructor in the medical assisting program, helps to make Ms. Matzke’s transition into the class as smooth as possible.

“I was worried about Lauryn finding her own way to complete assignments, but she proved that there was no need for negativity or worrying,” Ms. Ray said. “She thrives in class and handles every task with grace. It’s incredible to see Lauryn and her classmates work as a team to achieve success together.”

After Ms. Matzke completes West-MEC’s Medical Assisting program, she plans to attend Glendale Community College to pursue a nursing career, while interning at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

Once she completes her nursing degree, she plans to return to her home state of Minnesota and work for Gillette Children’s Hospital, where they focus on children who live with cerebral palsy. Ms. Matzke has previously completed an internship with them, and they want her to return as a medical assistant upon graduation and certification.

“The Medical Assisting class coming together means a lot to me because I’ve been looked at differently from a young age and, though I still deal with that, I don’t tolerate it anymore,” said Ms. Matzke. “Sometimes it is tough to have extra attention on me and welcome extra help, but it means a lot that the students and instructors are willing to help me and understand the conditions I live with.”

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