First-Generation Milliken Resident Pursues an Education From IBMC and Finds a Hidden Passion
(Northern Colorado, July 16, 2012): Born in Mexico, Manny Sotelo came to the United States to live in Johnstown, CO, as a six year old little boy with he and his six older siblings. The Land of Freedom promised opportunity for the Sotelos, but daily Manny witnessed his parents battling financial struggles while trying to raise a family and put food on the table with little money. With a loving stay at home mother and a father who worked as a farmer, his parents labored to provide for he and his siblings.
As the youngest, Manny saw three of his older siblings graduate high school, one sibling did not attend high school and the other two dropped out to help their mother and father provide for the family. While living a difficult life and facing daily hardships, Manny made the conscious decision to set himself apart, but how that would occur, he was unsure. The thought of becoming a doctor became a childhood dream, and although it began before he was tall enough to even reach the cookie jar, this young man had a vision.
“Growing up, my mom worked so hard to take care of us kids. We didn’t have toys or much of anything, nada. As a Latino, our culture is just different. You aren’t expected to go to college. You drop out of high school, or maybe graduate, and then you work. You then get married and have kids. That’s it. I just wanted more and to be able to provide for my parents and myself.”
A 2007 graduate of Roosevelt High School in Johnstown, Manny was earnest to find a new way and a better life for himself and his family as he prepared to graduate high school.
“I didn’t have a good GPA, and people just thought I wasn’t going to be anything, but I knew I wanted to help people, maybe do something in the medical field, somehow, some way.”
After speaking to a friend, he was referred to the Institute of Business & Medical Careers in Greeley. He met with Darla McNaney, Lead Admissions Representative, IBMC Greeley.
“You know, Darla really helped me tremendously. She encouraged me to just get started somewhere and begin pursuing my dreams, and I did.”
Manny enrolled at the Institute of Business & Medical Careers as a first-generation student in the Medical Assisting Degree Program at the Greeley campus, 5400 West 11th Street, Suite D, in 2008. He realized an education would open-up doors and it was the next step needed to get closer to a future that he deserved.
“I wanted my kids to have a promising future, and I thought an education was truly the best way to change my life. IBMC was the place for me.”
Through hands-on training and small class sizes, Manny made several friends and was taught how to perform blood draws, prepare lab specimens, give injections and a variety of other clinical procedures.
Putting his newly acquired MA skills to the test, he was hired as an Extern at the Surgical Associates of Greeley, where he completed a five week externship.
There, his passion for healthcare intensified further. He graduated the Medical Assisting Degree Program in 2010 from IBMC with dreams of providing care to those that needed it the most. He also realized that he wanted to continue his education in the direction towards business, while also building meaningful relationships and giving to others.
He enrolled in an online Business Administration program at a nearby college and was pleasantly surprised when he found out his IBMC credits transferred.
Overall, having a degree has benefited Manny immensely. In built upon his character, boosted his self-confidence, integrity, morals and values.
He found himself employed with Eastern Colorado Well Services in Longmont in May of 2011 as a Floor Hand, a very labor intensive position, although his heart’s desire still remained working with people in a medical type of setting.
Seeing an opportunity to volunteer to teach courses through the American Red Cross, while also keeping his full-time job, he seized the opportunity and used his MA Degree to become an instructor.
With continual mentorship from Jeff Brines, a fellow employee in the oil industry, Manny resumed hard work, maintained a humble attitude and a positive spirit. It was not long before his employer saw these traits and his aptitude.
He learned that Manny had also received certifications in CPR, First Aid and Blood Borne Pathogens from IBMC, along with his Medical Assisting Degree. Soon, he was promoted to Safety Coordinator at Eastern Colorado Well Services. Acting in this role for five months, Manny’s Supervisor recognized his outstanding Microsoft Office skill-sets, learned during his general education classes, and promoted him a second time to the position of Maintenance Planner and Scheduler in January of 2012 to present day.
“An education really does help you. You need it. Even though you may end up working in a job or career that is different from the area you specialized in, it shapes you and your path. I’m a perfect example of how an education makes all the difference.”
Manny is not finished just yet. While his focus entails moving up to Fleet Manager at Eastern Colorado Well Services in the near future and working towards a Business Degree, education and self-determination are to be credited.
And while the once little boy no longer dreams of being a doctor, this recent 24 year old has his eyes on a new goal.
“Business is the path I want to stay in now. I enjoy helping people still, but it is in a different capacity than my original childhood dream of becoming a doctor. I plan to open my own business or become a CEO down the road.”
Thinking big and staying positive continue to be Manny’s attitude in life, and while the beginning path has led him to places he never thought possible, he excitedly studies and works, wondering where this next step will take him in the course of life.
“I attribute my success to God, my family, pastor, friends and IBMC for providing me the training that I needed to qualify for career opportunities I never thought possible and really have the life that I know that I deserve for myself, my parents and the family I hope to have someday.”
Media Contact Information:
Institute of Business & Medical Careers
Holli Milenski, Marketing Manager
(970) 223-2669 x 503