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Skylar Langston Blazes an Inspiring Path as an EMT

Skylar Langston’s career journey is a mosaic of diverse experiences, from crafting gourmet dishes as a chef and navigating extensive routes as a truck driver to serving as an essential conduit in emergency response as a police dispatcher. All this experience has led her to Aims Community College and the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Certificate program. 

Skylar Langston

“I could do anything I set my mind to,” she says and her story proves it. 

Skylar started a career as a chef by graduating from culinary school at Johnson and Wales in Denver. She received an internship in the kitchen at The Brown Palace in Downtown Denver.  After a short time in the field, Skylar discovered that it wasn’t a career for her. “I learned quickly that I'm not as quiet as most women are in industries led by men; the politics just aren't for me. I loved to cook. Still do, but it's not a workplace I fit into.” 

She explored other careers, such as driving a variety of vehicles with a commercial driver's license and working with security companies. Skylar also spent five years working as a police dispatcher for Adams County, Colorado. She estimated that she took 30,000 emergency calls a year. “It probably made me who I am today,” she said. “I hold my morals to a high ground and it's led me to where I'm now.”

Skylar discovered her “heart lies” with first responders through her job in police dispatch, which is why she became interested in studying emergency medical services at Aims. Her next aspiration is to work for a critical care transport organization, “I want to be on an ambulance,” she said.

Discovering Support and Success

Skylar came to Aims as part of the Care Forward Colorado Program. It is a statewide program designed to revitalize Colorado’s healthcare workforce through zero-cost, short-term training programs at institutions like Aims. In one year or less, students can earn a certificate and learn the skills to get a healthcare career for jobs desperately needed in Colorado’s healthcare facilities.

She acknowledges, "there's no way I could have done this if that funding was not available.” Skylar is a mom to four kids. She also works one or two jobs to make ends meet. Having that financial aspect of going back to school taken care of is a relief. “It lets me focus on what’s important, managing life, work and kids,” she said.  

Skylar is a diligent and resourceful person who left home at age 14. “I've come from absolutely nothing, the bottom of the barrel,” she admits. She didn’t feel like she excelled in high school but was able to put herself through college (the first time) with a volleyball scholarship. 

Although she tried an array of careers over the years and time has passed since her first experiences in higher education, Skyar had a positive attitude when enrolling at Aims and the EMT program. At her initial advisory meeting, Skylar was warned that she was entering a very challenging program. “I thought they were kidding at how crazy, intense, and hard this would be. My biggest recommendation for students coming in here: You need to take it seriously.”

Skylar is proud of being successful in her EMT classes at Aims and has the second-highest grade in her classes. “I'm so proud of myself because I'm holding myself to such a high standard.” Her hard work has paid off. 

“I told myself that I needed to hit the ground running from the get-go,” she said. “Don't stop once you start. You keep going full steam.”

As the program progressed, Skylar was surprised that the physical, mental and emotional demands took a toll on her. Through the hardship, though, she flourished. She discovered she possessed the right temperament for this career path as she went through it. “You really have to be calm under pressure. I work better under pressure,” she said.

The EMT program also tested Skylar in more personal and psychological ways. “It's made me realize that I don't have a grip on my anxiety as much as I thought I did.” This catalyzed her to reach out for help with her mental health. “It’s pushing me to better myself and face my flaws.”

Although the EMT certificate program is a quick yet grueling journey, it forced Skylar to challenge herself in many ways and she came out better through the experience. While in the midst of the program, she said, “I'm doing what needs to be done because it is so short, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Skylar with classmates and an EMT Gurney

Skylar’s Path Ahead

In August, Skylar graduated with honors and is on the President’s List. She also holds a certification from the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) and EMS Provider Certification through the State of Colorado

“I am proud of myself and more than validated that I am on the right path.”  

With her education and credentials, Skylar is searching for a job to use the skills she acquired within the last year. She is also considering expanding her education by taking the Advanced EMT Certificate or Paramedic Associate Degree at Aims. 

Whatever the future holds, Skylar’s resourcefulness and drive have proven she is up for any obstacle on her journey toward success and fulfillment.