About Us

Founded in 2020 as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, STEP Into a Job! builds upon the experience and impact achieved by the Bay Area Medical Academy (BAMA) – a top performing certified B Corp – over the past 15+ years. STEP was launched to ensure that all students can access high-quality healthcare training, regardless of their ability to pay.

Our History

Founded in 2020 as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, STEP Into a Job! builds upon the experience and impact achieved by the Bay Area Medical Academy (BAMA) – a top performing certified B Corp – over the past 15+ years. STEP was launched by BAMA’s founder, Simonida Cvejic, to ensure that all students can access high-quality healthcare training, regardless of their ability to pay. STEP provides training in medical assisting, vaccine administration, and COVID-testing, in combination with scholarships and supportive services, to create high-growth career opportunities for people from underserved communities.

BAMA graduation, 2021

Bay Area Medical Academy

BAMA was founded in 2005 by Simonida Cvejic, a single mom, in her living room, with the mission to train and connect low-wage workers with opportunities as phlebotomists. Incubated at the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center with funding from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office for Economic Development, BAMA started by serving low-income students referred through CalWorks. As it has grown and expanded its programs, the school has remained connected to its community, particularly focused on elevating and empowering women, people of color, immigrants and people receiving public assistance. Today the Medical Assisting program trains close to 1,000 students per year at two campuses in San Francisco and San Jose.

Bay Area Medical Academy

BAMA was founded in 2005 by Simonida Cvejic, a single mom, in her living room, with the mission to train and connect low-wage workers with opportunities as phlebotomists. Incubated at the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center with funding from the San Francisco Mayor’s Office for Economic Development, BAMA started by serving low-income students referred through CalWorks. As it has grown and expanded its programs, the school has remained connected to its community, particularly focused on elevating and empowering women, people of color, immigrants and people receiving public assistance. Today the Medical Assisting program trains close to 1,000 students per year at two campuses in San Francisco and San Jose.

STEP into a Job!

STEP into a Job! grew from an idea presented at the Clinton Global Initiative – America Conference in June 2011. On stage with President Bill Clinton, Simonida spoke about the best model for preparing low-skilled, unemployed workers with barriers to employment to get back into the workforce – one that recognizes and addresses the challenges students face by combining:

  • Technical training
  • Employer engagement strategies and job placement
  • Scholarships and integrated social services

STEP into a Job! offers this combination of services in a comprehensive program, designed to help Bay Area workers launch careers in healthcare.

Our experience shows that the length of the externship training highly correlates with the rate of placement in jobs, said Simonida. Simonida’s CGI Call to Action specifically asked employers, hospitals and clinical labs to open their doors to job-seekers in training and build their experience.

Our Team

Our Board

Simonida Cvejic

Simonida Cvejic is the Founder/CEO of BAMA and a STEP into a Job! board member. She has been leading Bay Area Medical Academy for the last 16 years with a focus on building employer alliances, community relationships and opportunities for people from various socio-economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds. Prior to founding BAMA, Simonida worked as an analyst at Goldman Sachs.

Angela Dombrowski

Angela Dombrowski has served as Compliance Manager & Asst. Operation Manager of BAMA since 2015. She recently joined STEP into a Job! as a board member. Angela holds degrees from UC Berkeley in Environmental Science and Environmental Economic Policy.

Our Staff

Angela Earby

Andrea Earby is the program director for BAMA and in that role has developed the curriculum and helped countless BAMA students to achieve their dream of education and career advancement. Ms Earby was a consultant on the NCCT MA review and in 2020 was a textbook reviewer for the 9th edition of Medical Assisting Administrative and Clinical Competencies, published by Cengage.

BAMA Accreditations

National Center for Competency Testing
California Department of Public Health
National Healthcareer Association
Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education