Chase Awards Bay Area Medical Academy $100,000 Small Business Grant

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Grant will help top San Francisco Bay Area health care training school expand their workforce training programs

Chase will present Bay Area Medical Academy with a $100,000 grant check to help expand its health care career training school as part of the Mission Main Street Grants program. The award presentation will take place at the San Francisco BAMA campus, 530 Bush Street, Suite 201, on Friday, September 25th at 2:30 pm.

“Bay Area Medical Academy is transforming the way technical skills education is done in the US. We are a community-based school that strives to provide quality healthcare education that is debt-free and leads to family-supporting wages,” said Simonida Cvejic, Founder and CEO for Bay Area Medical Academy. “This award is going to help us expand our programs by adding classroom space in San Francisco and San Jose, and hire more staff, so we can ultimately train more students and help them get jobs.”

Bay Area Medical Academy is one of only twenty small businesses nationwide who were selected to receive the grant as part of Chase’s $2 million Mission Main Street Grants program. The program increases awareness of the important role small businesses play in local communities and helps small businesses grow. LinkedIn, a premier sponsor for the Mission Main Street Grants program, will fly the recipients to its headquarters for a Small Business Boot Camp.

Bay Area Medical Academy is leading the way in providing community-based workforce training for the healthcare field. Guided by the belief that education should be free in the United States, especially for the unemployed and underemployed, the school has worked towards creating a model solution.

Students attending Bay Area Medical Academy come from all walks of life with one thing on their mind—improving their lives by starting a successful career in the medical field.

Peter Oraha is a Veteran, currently attending the Medical Assistant program, who decided to enroll at the school after being inspired by the medics who treated him when he was serving in Iraq.

“I looked at the medics—and I thought to myself, I want to be that person,” said Peter. “It’s inspiring for me when I interact with the BAMA faculty and work with my fellow students.”

After being laid off from her bank clerk position, Syreeta Taylor attended the school with hopes of finding a stable career. Now she is working in a primary care clinic at UCSF Medical Center. It’s a job that she enjoys immensely.

“I like that every day is different. Different patients, different issues, and different results," said Syreeta. "Bay Area Medical Academy was one of the schools that EDD would pay for while I was on unemployment, and the school offered a Medical Assisting Program that would make me more marketable with employers.”

Lisbeth Lule doesn’t let being a busy, full-time student at Bay Area Medical Academy get in the way of being the best mom she can be with her two-year old son.

“My son sees me reading my text books and studying, and he sits next to me and pretends to do the same.”

Lisbeth says her biggest inspiration is her mother, who she suddenly got separated from three years ago. She now relies on the support of her three brothers and the Bay Area Medical Academy staff and students.

“Being at BAMA is like having another family—a family away from my family at home,” said Lisbeth. “One day I’ll be able to get up in the morning and be excited about going to work.”

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Simonida Cvejic
Bay Area Medical Academy
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