JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The tape is being lifted and the finishing touches are being made on Capstone Institute. It's a first-of-its-kind pharmacy tech school located in the heart of the Northside.
“I don't think I would want it anywhere else because of the need here,” founder Albert Chester explained.
“Here" is Moncrief Road. Chester has family in the area and wanted to give young people here options and opportunities. He went to Episcopal School of Jacksonville and Florida A&M University and is now a successful pharmacy manager at Walgreens. He hopes others can join him in developing a prosperous medical career through Capstone.
“You’ll be state registered with the state of Florida and you'll be eligible to take the national certificate test, so the whole program is geared around getting you prepared for the test and going on to the next step,” Chester continued.
Students will have access to realistic training tools. Chester said hands-on training is vital, so that once you complete the program, you're job-ready. Locals say this is exactly the educational and economic boost Moncrief needs.
“I think it's excellent that they are in this particular neighborhood. I’d like to see it look like San Marco,” George Carter said.
Once they've completed the 15-week program, graduates can start off as pharmacy techs making at least $29,000. Dr. Zeboye Doctor sponsored the cost for one student to attend, which is $2,600. Chester believes Capstone will not only put money in your pocket, but change your mindset and ultimately your life.
“Someone did it for me, so I’m returning the favor to someone who is in need,” Doctor said.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change,” Chester said with a smile.
Capstone is holding an open house Saturday from 2 to 4:30 p.m. It's located at 3416 Moncrief Road, Suite 101. Interested students 18 and older are encouraged to attend.
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