Laura Waterbury of Miami has received the 2012 ‘Dream Award’ scholarship from Everest Institute-Hialeah for overcoming insurmountable obstacles, obtaining her education and holding a steady job as a medical office manager.
“The teachers and counselors at Everest believed in me. They saw strengths in me that I couldn’t see at the time. I am now a new person, with a renovated self esteem and faith in the future,”
Waterbury said. Waterbury was addicted to drugs for 25 years. Her addiction landed her in jail a few times, isolating her from family and friends. Her last arrest turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The court offered her the opportunity to join a rehab program instead of jail. She would also have to find employment.
Accepting the challenge, Waterbury found work as a housekeeper and befriended a co-worker who was attending Everest. Through her, Waterbury saw that it was possible to pursue goals late in life, regardless of hardships. For Waterbury, this meant first earning her GED certificate, and then going to work at 5 a.m. so she could go to classes at Everest in the afternoon. Sleep was scarce; she averaged about five hours a night.
Waterbury earned her diploma in medical insurance billing and coding from Everest with a 4.0 GPA and a perfect attendance record. Today, she is an office manager at Arvon & Associates in Counseling, with office locations in Aventura and Doral.
The Dream Award, given by Everest and its parent company, Corinthian Colleges Inc., recognizes graduates who have changed their lives for the better through education. Each of Corinthian’s 100+ campuses selected an outstanding graduate, and a national Dream Award winner was selected from among the campus winners.
Everest Institute-Hialeah is located at 530 W. 49th St. in Hialeah, offering programs in applied management, business, criminal justice with focus on private and homeland security and on social and youth services, medical assistant, medical administrative assistant, medical insurance billing and coding, patient care technician, pharmacy technician and surgical technologist.
For information about Everest University-Hialeah, visit www.everest.edu/campus/Hialeah