Apprentice Spotlight: Arizona Kerker

Jun 27, 2024

Arizona Kerker is a recent high school graduate – and is already on her way to becoming a Pharmacy Technician with college credit! And that’s not all, she is the first apprentice of the Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center Pharmacy Technician Apprenticeship class.  

The Training Fund’s HealthCare Apprenticeship Consortium (HCAC) is partnering with Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center to run the first ever high school apprenticeship program in Washington. This innovative earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship program allows participants to earn college credit through our program partnership with North Seattle College’s Pharmacy Technician program. Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center is a public school in Everett, Washington, that offers technical training for junior and senior high school students in Snohomish and South Island Counties 

Photo of Lukuman Nagwere, an African American man wearing a dark gray shirt and suit jacket smiling.

“This apprenticeship program has impacted my life by creating the opportunity for me to apply my love for healthcare and helping others into the real world,” says Arizona. The Pharmacy Technician Apprenticeship provides students with classroom instruction and skills learning in collaboration with Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center, followed by on-the-job training to enter the healthcare workforce as a Pharmacy Technician. In addition to classroom learning, instructors provide valuable support and conduct site visits to check on apprentice progress through the program. Arizona is currently working at a pharmacy in Arlington, where she completes everyday duties under the watchful and supportive eye of her program mentor. 

Arizona’s motivation for working in healthcare started after taking a CPR class in 6th grade. She is thankful her former health teachers fueled her curiosity. “My Medical Assisting instructor, Jan Le, helped me realize there were many different paths in healthcare and encouraged me to explore my options,” she says.  “I want to have a deep understanding of the human body in order to better help my community and family members. It’s important to me to know how to help in stressful situations regarding health”. When she learned about the Pharmacy Technician Apprenticeship, Arizona knew it would help her reach her goals. 

The Pharmacy Technician Apprenticeship is a great pathway for young adults to enter the healthcare workforce. Arizona pursued the apprenticeship because the on-the-job training provides her with a well-paying job, while also providing experience in healthcare. “My long-term goals are to be a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA). I figured learning about medications and being in healthcare at a young age would help me decide if being a CRNA would be a good fit”. She has big dreams, and this is just the beginning! 

This program is specifically set up to help high school students balance school, their first job, and other commitments. Appreciating this fact, Arizona adds, “The Training Fund’s HCAC is supporting me by helping me track my hours I have worked, providing me with financial resources if needed, and support if I find myself struggling at my apprenticeship”. Access to resources and a support system can determine whether apprentices meet their goals and succeed – this is why the Training Fund prioritizes the structures and processes that promote success and program completion.  

We are proud of you, Arizona, and can’t wait to see what you do next! 

 

Learn more about our Medical Assistant and Pharmacy Technician Apprenticeship programs.