Passion For Healthcare Moves Woman To Strive For Success
BY JALESSA CASTILLO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
ORLANDO - Born and raised in Champaign, Illinois, LaTasha Brize could only dream that one day her ambition, determination, and passion would push her to become the owner of Extending Hearts Healthcare staffing agency in Central Florida.
LaTasha Brize was raised by a single mother who struggled to keep food on the table by working at an industrial factory. Her father David worked on the road as a truck driver so she usually saw him during the weekend or stood with him over the summer at his house in Mississippi. Meanwhile, her mother Janice encouraged her and her two younger sisters, Sheena and Jannell, to get a higher education so they could pursue better opportunities.
“My mother instilled some good work ethics into us,” said Brize. “My mother always went to work, she never missed a beat and I think I inherited that from her.”
Motivated by her mother’s hardworking example and sage advice, after graduating from high school she attended Parkland College where she received her Associates Degree in Science, certified in Medical Assisting in 2005.
Unfortunately, despite completing her degree she had difficulty finding employment because she didn’t have enough work history or on-the-job training. She visited a counselor who advised her to go back to school, which she did and in 2010 she earned a Bachelors in Science, majoring in Career in Organizational Studies at Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, Illinois.
“I worked full time Monday through Friday and then attended night and weekend classes to obtain my degree,” said Brize. “A career in medical assisting, training, and department development was something I found great interest in pursuing.”
In January of 2011 she moved to Orlando in pursuit of a career change, however, her passion for healthcare wouldn’t allow her to give up on entering the field. She acquired her first job as an Externship Coordinator for a technical school, helping medical assistants find places to complete clinical training and possible job placement.
She went on to become a Medical Assistant instructor. She worked with students to educate them on their clinical skills in order to complete the program and pass the certification exams.
“Although I loved working for the school, on the business end of it all I was not feeling the security and stability that other companies had for their staff,” she expressed. “I eventually had to go back working at the hospital as a medical assistant while still teaching part-time in the evenings.”
Still in pursuit of her ideal career, she began researching ways to start her own business.
“I had to think long and hard! I had to ask myself what kind of business would I start and how will it benefit my community,” she said. “I took all of my work experience and education into consideration on developing my business. I reached out to non for profit business development centers and employment agencies in my community for guidance. As I started this journey I would post my experiences and goals on social media with friends and family. People began to reach out to me for advice because I had inspired them.”
Developing her own staffing agency was by no means a small task. Brize claims research and business plan development were the two keys for her starting her business. She attributes the creation of a business plan to discovering everything you need to know to start and operate a business.
“Coming up with money to get things going is one the challenges I had to deal with. I had to make sacrifices and live on budget because my business was something I truly believed in,” she said. “I tell young people that it will take time, planning and research to achieve your dreams. My preacher back at home in Champaign told me a person will get 1000 ‘No's’ before they get that one ‘Yes’.”
Located at 850 Grand Regency Pointe, Altamonte Springs, FL, Extending Hearts Healthcare Staffing Agency recruits health care graduates and helps them find employment with clinical facilities in the Orlando area. Motivated by her own challenges trying to find a career without experience, Brize created EHHSA to mentor and guide people to land their first job in the healthcare profession, providing consulting and resume workshops. With only 10 people per class, she is able to give personalized instruction to those who attend.
“Ms. Latasha Brize is a very hard-working woman who strives for success. She is a very intelligent lady that loves to share her power of knowledge with our future Medical Assistants,” said Minette Lorena. “Furthermore, despite the struggles that life throws at her, she takes pride in everything she has accomplished. I am honored to be part of her life as her student and a friend.”
Throughout the four years that the staffing agency has been open many have been able to benefit from its assistance.
“Latasha is a very smart, intelligent, and independent lady who takes much pride in what she does. I'm so glad to call her my friend,” said Mrs. Kimmy Gates. “Most of all I’m glad I had the pleasure of being a part of her class. She was a great Professor!”
In addition to successfully opening her agency, Brize wrote a book called, "Armed with Persistence”. The book describes her journey of stepping out into the real world, using life lessons and work experience to start her own business.
"LaTasha is a go getter,” said Kianja Johnson, CEO of Bookkeepers and Associates, LLC. “She leaves you feeling like you can accomplish any entrepreneurial dream you wish for yourself. She is a complete inspiration for those who are looking take the plunge into entrepreneurship."
Brize is currently in the process of creating an online medical assistant review course that will help students to prepare for their exams to get registered and certified.
“I am thankful for the trial and tribulations I endured because you learn so much from life lessons. You will notice the things you encounter really shape and sharpen you as an individual,” she said.
LaTasha’s book, “Armed with Persistence,” is available on Amazon, at Barnes & Noble, and at Parkland College where she previously attended. The website www.extendingheartshealthcarestaffingagency.com is currently under construction so feel free to learn more about the agency by calling 217-819-1406 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.