Student Success Stories


Our Healthcare Occpuations Programs bring career and personal success to a great many of our students. Check out their stories!


Student Success: Certified Nurse Aide



Alexandra Thornton, 21, lives in Denton County and received the MATRIX Grant in the Spring and Fall of 2011—she first   became a  Certified Nurse Aide, then she completed the Phlebotomy Technician Program. Alexandra now works at Good Samaritan Rehabilitation Center in Denton, where she takes care of patients and also gathers specimens to help monitor their health.

“The MATRIX Grant was very helpful. What with planning a wedding and having to pay for school, I couldn’t afford it all, and I didn’t want to get swallowed up in student loans. It was easy to apply for the grant, and the staff helped me along the way. I highly recommend NCTC’s healthcare programs and the MATRIX grant!”


Student Success: Certified Nurse Aide



James Dorgbetor,  hails from Mafi-Dekpe in Ghana, and now lives in Denton County. He received the MATRIX Grant in 2011 to complete the Certified Nurse Aide program and is now studying to become a Certified Medication Aide. Mr. Dorgbetor works at Willow Bend  Rehabilitation Center in Denton.

“My wife and I were both unemployed, and the MATRIX really helped us out. I was able to become a C.N.A., and now I work at a wonderful place and am able to provide for my family. I compare North Central Texas College to an omnibus—it’s willing to take on more and more people and take them to where they want to be.”


Student Success: EKG Technician


Stacey Spruill,  34, lives in Gainesville. She received the MATRIX Grant in 2011, which funded her EKG Technician program. Today, Ms. Spruill works at North Texas Medical Center, one of the college’s MATRIX Grant Partners, as a Telemetry Technician.

“The MATRIX Grant made it possible for me to go to school; with three kids, I couldn’t really take on a full load. The EKG program was fast-paced and gave me exactly what I needed: get in, get out. Terry, the instructor, was awesome. She put things on ‘our level,’ including medical terminology. NCTC was convenient, and I never found a staff member who wasn’t helpful.”


Student Success: Instrument Technician

Marjorie Smith of Denton has held many jobs over her career span, including office work and appraiser. For her, becoming an Instrument Technician was a true and utter career change.

“It is an extremely important job. Instrument Technicians have to ensure safety by following standards and practices.”
Instrument Technicians are the first line of defense against infection in hospitals and operating rooms. They wash and sterilize instruments, decontaminate the surgery rooms, and set up trays of instruments for surgical procedures. Many Instrument Technicians become Surgical Technologists, who actually assist the doctors and nurses inside the operating rooms.
Marjorie credits Sylvia Bratton, instructor for the Instrument Technician program at Lifelong Learning, for her success in becoming a medical professional, as she has been offered a position at Denton Presbyterian Hospital. While participating in the externship requirement for the Instrument Technician program, Marjoie says she did not feel anxious. Instead, she felt prepared and confident, and that was due to Sylvia’s training and guidance. “Sylvia made the course a blast,” Marjorie states. “She gave real life scenarios, her years of expertise were very valuable, and it was Sylvia who made the course worth it.”



Coordinator: Maame Darkwa

Grant questions? 940-668-4228

General questions? 940-498-6270

WIA or DARS? 940-498-6272