CCC Helps Healthcare Pro Better Connect with His Clients

Michael Sarvi already had a bachelor’s degree from UC Davis and was well on his way to medical school when he decided to come to CCC.

He was working as a Reproductive Health Specialist at Planned Parenthood and felt he wasn’t connecting with patients as well as he’d like. While looking into local programs, he discovered that students were saying great things about CCC Health and Human Services Chair Aminta Mickles online. Curiosity got the better of him.

“I took the class kind of on a whim, to be honest,” he remembers. “And it ended up being a really eye-opening experience.”

“There was just so much diversity in the classroom. People from all walks of life.”

At CCC, Michael found human service professionals like himself, younger students and survivors of family violence, addiction and homelessness all learning side-by-side. Often, they learned from each other.

“People were very involved in the class,” he explains. “It was a very personal experience, as opposed to what I experienced at a big university.”

He ended up liking Mickles as much as the students he’d heard from online. “I just think very highly of her,” he says.

“It’s very clear to me that the staff really does care about the success of the students that they’re teaching. It was a very nurturing environment, with so much individualized care. The teachers were so involved in the academic and personal lives of the students.”

Next month, Michael starts classes at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. He hasn’t decided yet if he wants to focus on pediatrics or psychiatry. But he believes that his time at Contra Costa College will help him better understand and meet the needs of any population he chooses to serve.

“[It] gives you the tools that you need to be your own teacher,” he says, “regardless of what field you’re in or what field you’re pursuing. It gave me the tools that I needed to find my own success.”