Melissa Aparicio is expanding her knowledge and career path

Melissa Aparicio isn’t new to the healthcare industry. She has spent the past 9 years working as an ER technician. Because of her desire to expand her knowledge in the medical field, she enrolled in the pharmacy technician program at Delaware Technical Community College, thanks to the Air Force Aid Society (AFAS).

“I just want to learn more about medicine, and the pharmacy class. It’s a great steppingstone to expand my knowledge about everything,” Melissa says.

Melissa heard about the certificate program through the Airman and Family Readiness Center. Interested in the program, but unsure that she would be selected, Melissa applied with encouragement from her husband, Staff Sergeant Hugo Becerra-Marquez. To her excitement, she was accepted.

Paying for the class, the exam, and even the necessary medical scrubs, Melissa probably would not have been able to take the course if not for the support from AFAS through its Spouse Employment Program (SEP). For Melissa, the program demonstrates that the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and the Society “want you to have your career as well.”

Not only will Melissa expand her knowledge, but she’s also meeting other spouses in the program, making friends with people she may not have met otherwise.

“If anybody has an opportunity to do this, I recommend it,” Melissa says of the SEP program. “It’s a great chance to meet other spouses, to meet other people outside your circle of friends, and it’s a good opportunity to expand your horizon.”

In the near future, Melissa hopes that the additional paycheck for the household will help relieve some of the financial pressures of raising two small children. Further down the road, she looks forward to taking advantage of other programs and education grants from the Society as her children consider college.

Whether she begins her new line of work in a hospital setting or a retail setting, Melissa isn’t sure yet. She does know that she’s excited about the options waiting for her.

Melissa thanks AFAS donors for making her feel appreciated as a spouse who is deserving of this educational opportunity and a career she can call her own. She looks forward to giving back to AFAS for the gifts she has received.

The Air Force Aid Society is the official charity of the U.S. Air Force and has been meeting the unique needs of Airmen and their families since 1942. AFAS works to support and enhance the USAF mission by providing emergency financial assistance, educational support, and community programs. Since 2008, AFAS has provided more than $215 million in direct support to Air Force families. Visit to learn more, apply for assistance or to donate.