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Michelle Sabol from Vandergrift, Pennsylvania Honored as 2018 True Blue Alum by Nonprofit Ultimate Medical Academy

TAMPA, Fla., July 31, 2018 – Michelle Sabol, 37, a resident of Vandergrift, Pennsylvania was recently named a True Blue Alum by Ultimate Medical Academy, an accredited nonprofit healthcare education school. This recognition is awarded each quarter to UMA graduates who are serving their communities, excelling in their careers, and accomplishing other noteworthy achievements.

Sabol earned her Health Sciences – Pharmacy Technician Associate of Science degree from UMA’s online program in December 2017. She has since demonstrated dedication to her coworkers, community, and herself. This includes making a real impact since February 2018 as a pharmacy technician at Holiday Park Hometown Pharmacy in Pittsburgh.

Sabol explained how she found her way to UMA and a healthcare career while working more than 70 hours a week between two jobs.

“Working in the healthcare field in general is something that is in high demand,” she said. “There is so much need to care for other people in so many different ways.”

Sabol’s healthcare provider journey began several years ago when she became a certified home health aide to help take care of her friend’s daughter. This experience sparked her interest in healthcare, and she applied for a pharmacy technician position at a supermarket chain.

The hiring manager suggested that Sabol receive her education in the field, which prompted her to research online schools. She was encouraged by the enthusiasm and positivity she heard from UMA. She did continue with her education, graduating with high honors from UMA and is doing well as a pharmacy technician.

But Sabol’s journey has not always been easy. Facing medical hurdles at UMA, she persevered. Before enrolling at UMA, Sabol underwent gastric bypass surgery, which caused internal bleeding and kidney stones. She experienced her first kidney stone at the end of UMA’s Winter Break, and she was admitted to the emergency room. During this trying time, she kept up with her UMA schoolwork, in part because her advisors were understanding and supportive.

“I absolutely love UMA. They are there 100 percent of the time—from the time they enroll you to even past graduation.” She continued, “They were there, and they felt like they were family.”

Following her first 90 days at her pharmacy technician job, Sabol was asked to lead Holiday Park Hometown Pharmacy’s new program, “Time My Meds.” The program helps both the pharmacy and patients by syncing and automatically filling medications after customers have given their consent. Sabol was given this opportunity because of her job knowledge, organizational skills, and for being detail-oriented.

The program has been so successful in promoting patient adherence to their medication schedules that the owners of the pharmacies traveled from Florida to Pennsylvania to personally congratulate Sabol and the team.

Sabol worked hard to get where she is today, including taking advantage of many opportunities to assume more responsibility. In addition to leading Time My Meds, Sabol has taken on leadership duties at the pharmacy by training a more junior employee—an opportunity offered to her after her employers saw her potential.

“If you want to go anywhere in life, that’s what you have to do,” Michelle said. “You set your goals, set your dreams, and you go for it.”

When it comes to starting a career, Sabol recommends having a couple of options—including a fallback. She emphasizes that the important part is starting.

“You may not get what you want right away,” she said. “Good things are worth waiting for. You also need experience. Just start somewhere—get your experience and work your way up, but never forget where you want to be, and one day you will get there.”

UMA President Derek Apanovitch said, “We could not agree more with Michelle’s advice, and we look forward to seeing her continue to excel in her career. She makes us all proud.”