The Christian author Andy Stanley once stated, "Direction, not determination, determines our destination." For many years I was determined to re-enroll and finish my degree, but I always found a reason or ran into some road block that pointed me in the wrong direction. In 2007 after relocating from Nebraska to Indiana for my wife's job, I was directed by my employer to further my education if I wanted career advancement. Upon seeking education institutions, I researched many schools in search of good educational values, cost effectiveness, and direct degree application. Ivy Tech Community College South Bend was the answer to my prayers.
As a non-traditional student going back to school to finish my education was not an easy task. Therefore, finding balance with working a full time job (50+ hours a week), maintaining family time, spiritual life, and a full class schedule which included a 60 mile round trip commute appeared to be unmanageable; however, Ivy Tech Community College South Bend provided the exact environment for my success. This would not have been possible without the wonderful faculty; especially, my advisor Joann Phillips guiding me throughout the process.
As hectic as my schedule was, Ivy Tech Community College South Bend provided an excellent opportunity for me to be involved with campus life. I was able to serve as Secretary for the Human Services Club and was one of two students to start what is believed to be the first NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness) on campus for students on a community college campus. Through my course concentration of Addiction Studies, I was selected as the only student in the state of Indiana to be appointed to the state board of directors for the Indiana Association for Addictions Professionals.
Graduating from Ivy Tech Community College South Bend in May of 2010 with an Associates of Applied Science degree with a concentration in Substance Abuse Counseling and a certificate in Mental Health has created the foundation for my educational journey. Ivy Tech provided me with the education and training needed to become a certified Addictions Counselor which created the opportunity for employment advancement.
Thanks to Ivy Tech Community College South Bend, today I currently work for the Otis R. Bowen Center in Plymouth Indiana and will be graduating with honors from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2012. I will be continuing my educational journey in pursuit of a Master's of Social Work (MSW), at Indiana University South Bend (IUSB). I will be forever grateful for the foundation and direction that Ivy Tech Community College South Bend has provided me and my family.
The education that I received at Ivy Tech Community College provided me with the opportunity to learn many practical skills that I use daily, both in my professional and personal life. Many of the courses that I took prepared me with a strong foundation of skills to work directly with individuals, students, and professionals in the field of human services. Outside of my current position, the education that I acquired has enabled me to write and think critically, which has been helpful as I have pursued my bachelor's degree.
During my studies at Ivy Tech, I have learned many things about myself including my strengths, likes, dislikes, who I am as an individual, and who I would like to become in the future. Currently I am a Supplemental Instruction Leader and Supervisor at Ivy Tech Community College and can honestly say that I use the knowledge I gained from my education every day in my work. Ivy Tech has given me the foundation, knowledge, and confidence to grow and be successful in life.