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Anisa Afkhami

GateWay Student Looks to Inspire the Next Generation of Leaders

Initially enrolled at Mesa Community College for Business Entrepreneurship, Anisa Afkhami dreamed of a role in leadership, hoping to one day inspire the next generation of leaders. At the time, she never thought about pursuing a career in the healthcare industry.

However, that changed during her first year of study, when her family began a homecare company that assists the elderly with long-term care services. The business found itself with a shortage of caregivers and home-aides, so she enrolled in basic CPR and caregiver classes to volunteer when needed. After taking a few courses Anisa quickly grew an interest in the medical field.

“I wanted to find a profession where I would make a difference, and people are my passion,” she said. 

When asked what made her decide on GateWay, she eagerly answered, “I didn't choose to go to GateWay, it was GateWay that found me. GateWay Community College is the only college in Maricopa that offers the Health Services Management associate degree. I knew at that moment that not only did I find the perfect major, but I finally found a place to call home.” 

Like many students, Anisa was concerned with how she would afford her tuition and textbooks. Luckily, within her first month of enrolling she was introduced to the Honors program. Anisa realized the benefits of being an Honors student immediately. 

“Not only does the Honors program help me tremendously in affording my classes, BUT it also helps me learn how to become a lifelong learner and leader.” 

Her passion for caregiving has bled into her course work, focusing her semester’s Honors reflection essay on the necessity of government agencies such as the Office of Inspector General, Office of Civil Rights, and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. The project will discuss how our nation’s laws impact our society internally as healthcare professionals and externally as patients.

When asked what she feels is her biggest challenge, she answered time. “It is always a challenge to be both an active student in the community and an employee in the field.” 

Currently, Anisa goes to school part-time and works as the medical instructor in the homecare agency. The management team and employees look to her for leadership, and she often finds herself covering shifts and helping to educate employees on their own classes.

“The management classes help me recognize and acknowledge the importance of teamwork and become a leader for my team,” said Anisa. 

Anisa has a bright future ahead of her, once she completes her Associate in Applied Science  in Health Services Management, she plans to continue her education, with hopes of completing her master’s degree in Healthcare Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Arizona State University. Her goal is to work in a long-term care facility where she can focus more on geriatrics. Her advice to current students, “Anyone can aspire to be a leader, but true leadership comes from the heart.” 

To learn more about the Health Services Management program, visit: gatewaycc.edu/health-services-management