Jacob B., PIN member, celebrating the accomplishment of his medical coding and billing certificate.
Jacob B. has been a member of the PIN program since May of 2016. He joined the program after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Eastern University. Jacob had very little work experience when he joined PIN and so it was challenging for him to envision or articulate career interests or an intended path. The PIN Career Navigator began working with him right away, and together they decided an internship might help him to get some practical experience and exposure to the work world. In September of 2016, Jacob started a paid internship with PA CareerLink® doing data entry and other administrative work. With minimal help from the PIN team, Jacob quickly mastered all of his assigned tasks. He learned a lot about himself through his internship between 2016 and 2020.
PIN is a whole life program with embedded employment supports. A dedicated Career Navigator, as well as PIN staff who are cross-trained in supported employment best practices, are always available to meet with members to support job development, retention, and career advancement. As is true with many members, Jacob continued to meet with the Career Navigator on a monthly basis to troubleshoot concerns in the internship, and to check in regularly to gauge his interest in pursuing career advancement. For the most part Jacob was content with his internship even though the hours per week were quite limited.
Unfortunately, the internship came to a halt within a few months of the start of the pandemic shut down and Jacob was out of work for about a year. In December of 2021 the director of JEVS EduConnect (a new program at JEVS designed to assist students to earn certificates and/or degrees and launch their career, by providing the supports necessary for success) reached out to PIN to share an exciting new certification program they were offering – Medical Billing and Coding. Marc, PIN Associate Director and Debbie, PIN Career Navigator thought of Jacob right away because of his interest and experience in data entry. They approached Jacob and he was very interested! He did some research on the type of jobs, availability of positions and typical pay. Jacob shared the information with his parents and quickly decided to jump on the opportunity.
The PIN Career Navigator provided Jacob with registration information. As part of registration, he had to take an entrance exam and passed! Jacob officially joined the first JEVS EduConnect Medical Coding and Billing cohort in late January 2022. The PIN Career Navigator met with on a weekly basis to support organization with classwork, studying, and homework. Between April and June, Jacob had to study and prepare for the certification exam. The PIN Career Navigator met with Jacob regularly to stay on track and to request and document appropriate test accommodations.
Jacob’s parents, Susan D. and Simeon B., shared the following: “Our son, Jacob, enrolled in the JEVS EduConnect online course for Medical Documentation and Coding in January 2022. It was a rigorous course with three two-hour sessions a week and 10 hours a week of homework. We thought it might be too challenging. But the instructors and coaches provided Jacob with amazing support and guidance. The formal classes that ended late March were followed by a few weeks of intensive review sessions. Jacob passed his National Certification Examination in July 2022 on the first try! He has now resumed a part time data entry position with CareerLink® while PIN and JEVS EduConnect collaboratively support his ongoing search for opportunities to utilize his new skills. Regardless of his future career path, Jacob’s self-confidence has grown because of his experience with the JEVS EduConnect program.”
After this momentous accomplishment, Jacob needed a little break before beginning his job search. He continues to meet regularly with the Career Navigator and an EduConnect recruiter to find a good job match. Jacob’s thoughts on the experience: “The course and exam were both a lot of work. It took a lot of effort to complete. Afterwards, I was relieved that I passed and excited about the possibilities for my future”. He is currently searching for a part time career in the medical coding field, and we are confident that he will achieve it!
JEVS Independence Network is a whole life program with embedded employment supports serving Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Follow this link to learn more about Independence Network.