Perla welcomed her daughter Eileen while enrolled in the Adult Career Training Program.

Expecting a child prompts most parents to ask the big questions. How will I provide financially for my kids? How do I make sure I’m there for the big moments in their lives? How can I give them the best future possible? The mother of a two-year-old with a baby on the way, Perla Marmol was no exception.

Before Perla started at WMCAT, she was working a job that didn’t offer the hybrid work options, growth opportunities, and higher wages she needed. Medical coding did. So, when she heard about the tuition-free Adult Career Training Program she saw opportunity.

Perla did the math and realized her baby would be born during the Adult Career Training Program, but she felt it was worth it. “With a two-year-old, pregnant, going to work . . . [the program] was gonna be hard,” Perla remembers thinking, “but I still decided that I needed to further my career for them.”

Adult Career Training students throw a surprise baby shower for Perla (seated) at WMCAT.

Perla made the choice to pursue learning for her family. At WMCAT she was met with support from fellow students and staff. members while juggling parenting, pregnancy, and class.

“WMCAT, it was like a family. Students . . . staff, it was everybody at WMCAT. They made me feel comfortable. They made me feel like I was home — like I was part of them, like I was supposed to be there. I think that’s what pushed me to keep going.”

Perla celebrates graduation with her family, including her children Fernando and Eileen.

After welcoming her daughter Eileen in March and graduating from the Adult Career Training Program in June, Perla is now employed with Exalta Health as a medical coder with plans to continue growing her career. Her choice to pursue learning provided answers to the questions that once loomed over her; Perla is stepping confidently into the future with her family.

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