“You have to be prepared and you have to really want it. It’s not an easy program by any means … but the reward and the opportunities afterward are worth it.”
Lydia discovered Job Corps in 1995 while driving by a billboard in Fresno, Calif. The single, teenage mother had, as she puts it, “limited options for finding a job and no means of paying for school.” Knowing she had a responsibility to her son and to herself, she followed the sign’s bold instructions and called 1-800-JOBCORPS.
During her time at the Los Angeles Job Corps Center, she studied day and night, learning to appreciate the center’s structure and rules. She completed thousands of hours of on-the-job experience, and did her best to surround herself with other motivated students. She met challenging instructors, learned tough lessons, and collected valuable life skills that she now attributes to her continued professional success.
“It made me a better person, and it made me appreciate of all of the experiences that came afterward.”
In 1998, Lydia graduated from the Los Angeles Job Corps Center with her certification in Licensed Vocational Nursing. “A work ethic was instilled in me at Job Corps,” she said. After graduating from Job Corps, she worked steadily in her career while continuing her education. Today she holds a master’s degree in business and health care administration, and a fellowship position at the University of San Francisco.
Lydia is a registered nurse, a certified case manager, and the California Statewide Case Management director of Medi-Cal Programs at Anthem Blue Cross. She oversees 90 employees and 2.2 million members throughout California, making sure that teen moms, the elderly, and people with disabilities are connected to the care that they need and deserve. She is currently working on a California health improvement plan that will help members statewide avoid unnecessary hospital returns.