Jeanette Lowdon had lived and traveled throughout Africa and Europe for 27 years. After her last entrepreneurial venture—a jewelry-design business in Morocco—she returned to the States, where her sales savvy quickly gained her a Sales Agent position with a San Diego garden Nursery.

She was showing up for work every day, but her heart wasn’t in it. Actually, Jeanette had decided on a career change.

“For the past 2 years, I had been a full time student at Grossmont and Cuyamaca Colleges preparing for Grossmont’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program. Now, I am on their wait list, but, it is 2 years long. So, the director of the College tole me to find something to do in the medical field while I waited to enter the program.”

Jeanette Lowdon (L) with KRA Career Agent Tina Nichols


Jeanette enrolled with the San Diego Metro Region/American Job Center, KRA-operated for  the San Diego Workforce Partnership, where Career Agent Tina Nichols suggested she volunteer with a medical facility to gain “field” experience.

“I decided to go to the South metro Career Center and investigate what options were available to me. I attended an orientation and started going to the workshops. I immediately connected with the workshop facilitator’s confidence and it gave me hope that I could go through this journey to find a job. I attended more than 9 of Santiago’s, workshops and each time I took away something new that I could apply to my goal.

I signed up for the WIA program and – at the California Medical College. I also signed up to volunteer at the Alvarado Hospital. The volunteers are required to work 4 hours a week but I signed up for 16 hours a week. I wanted to make a motivated impression. Knowing this my boss asked me to be a part of the Statewide Emergency Preparedness day just 2 weeks after I stated volunteering at the hospital. This allowed me to be exposed to all the managers at the hospital as all the departments were involved.”

While Jeanette was  volunteering at Alvarado Hospital, Tina processed the paperwork for her to enroll in a WIA-supported, CMC Insurance and Coding Specialist Program.  Within 2 weeks of matriculation, Alvarado offered Jeannette  a  part-time position in the Telemedicine Department!

“One day my boss asked me to volunteer doing some clerical work for the Telemedicine Department. The manager could see I was very efficient and completely my task quickly. She mentioned that she was looking for a new employer and I said I was looking for a job. I applied on Dec. 10th and during that interviews, they could see that I was attending California Medical College, Grossmont College and volunteering at the hospital. The panel told me they could tell I was motivated to be in the medical field. The tools I was given were starting to pay off. I received a call on Dec 24th from HR offering me the job.

I could have not achieved this goal without the South Metro Career Center. They provided me the tools I needed to succeed an gave me the confidence I needed when I was at my most vulnerable. The bonus of all of this, that what I received was all free and genuinely from the heart. Thank you all for caring about me and my journey.”

Tina concluded, “Jeanette’s doing great!  Attending CMC and working at Alvarado are definitely expanding her industry knowledge—and her resume.  She’s still intent on OTA training, and is ‘delighted” to be well on the path to her career objective.”