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Dream Restored.

September 3, 2010


There is a Langston Hughes’ poem that asks the question, “What Happens to a Dream Deferred?”   I know the answer all too well. Before I graduated High School in 1992, I aspired to work in health care. I saw friends and family members injured and die simply because we lived in a part of town nobody wanted to come to; not even the ambulance. I wanted to make a difference!

After high school, I spent several years in the U.S. Navy trying to gain the focus and sense of direction I was so grievously lacking. After serving six years, I was disheartened to find that in the civilian world, all my experiences, all the skills I had acquired, were no than a “fish story” to most employers.  I still lacked marketability in the workplace. In the eyes of potential employers, I was simply a high school graduate.   I struggled for several years to find my niche in the health care field. Being a husband and a father I had to provide for my family. I drifted between low paying jobs that allowed me to have time with my family to better paying jobs that alienated me from the household.  I wanted balance.   I felt unhappy, unfulfilled and unsure of what the future held.

I was caught in a real life catch-22. I couldn’t afford to quit working to go to school full-time and most nursing schools made it impossible to work while in the program.  Herzing University proved to be the exception to the rule. The fundamental premises the school was founded on seemed tailor-made for me. The classes were scheduled and designed with working adults in mind.  The instructors were thorough as well as encouraging. Within this environment, I flourished, and rediscovered a passion inside me that had been dormant for far too long.

Now I am a nurse in the emergency department of a local indigent care hospital. This hospital provides health care for people in my old neighborhood and many others that would not be able to afford adequate medical care. I make an excellent living, I love my job and my future has never looked brighter. I know I make a difference in my home and in my community.  It is because of the difference my career college education made for me.


James Wooden, LPN

Birmingham, Class of 2007

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