Kary grew up admiring her single mother’s hard work and pursuit of education. She remembers both of her parents always striving to better themselves. Her parents set an example that nothing is impossible, no matter your age or circumstances.
Kary’s mother decided to return to school to earn a degree when Kary was a sophomore in high school. It was this example that inspired Kary to return to school herself to further her career in the medical field.
“It showed me nothing was impossible,” she says.
Today, Kary works with United Healthcare Military and Veterans as a referral management liaison. But even though she has always known she wanted to work in healthcare, there was a time when she didn’t know if her dream would come true.
Kary took college classes during her senior year of high school to earn her CNA license. She started working in the medical field at 17 and continued to work toward a nursing degree. But due to her former husband’s military career, she took time off from pursuing her own education and goals.
“Fast forward three years, and I was divorced at 23 years old and had nothing to show for my hard work before marriage,” she says.
Kary knew she wanted to continue working in the healthcare field. When she was young, she would ask her mom to take her to local nursing homes so that she could read to the elderly residents who did not have family or visitors.
“I fell in love with making others happy,” she says. “I was passionate about making a difference and knew I had found my calling.”
Kary decided to return to school to finish what she had started. She visited Brightwood College to learn more about available courses and programs. After meeting the Brightwood College staff and hearing about the Medical Assistant program, Kary enrolled on the spot and started classes the next day.
“I started the Medical Assistant program, and I loved every minute!” she says. “I was finally furthering my medical career. I graduated with high honors and made friendships I'll never forget.”
Though the journey was not always easy, Kary worked harder than she ever had, completing the Medical Assistant program and earning her diploma.
“The proudest moment of my life thus far was walking across the stage with honors, knowing I worked the hardest I ever had,” she says. “I experienced so much personal growth throughout the process. I worked two part-time jobs and was the lead ambassador, all while maintaining my grades.”
In 2014, Kary started working with the 354th Medical Group in a medical office setting. After working in four different positions with the 354th Medical Group, Kary was ready for something new. That’s when she was hired as a Referral Management Liaison with United Healthcare Military and Veterans. She has been able to use the medical office training she received at Brightwood College in her previous and current jobs.
“I worked as a medical assistant for a family practice clinic in my hometown for a while but quickly learned that the module we had in office specialist work was what I missed,” she says. “I started working in the medical office side of things and found that being involved in patient care in that way was more my pace.”
Even though she isn’t doing the hands-on side of medical assisting, Kary loves her job and knows she plays an important role in healthcare.
“I love what I’m doing and I know my values and love for the medical field was enhanced and wouldn’t be what it is today without Brightwood College,” Kary says.
Kary stays motivated by her husband, an Air Force veteran, and their young daughter. And she still gets support from her Brightwood College family.
“I walked into Brightwood not knowing a soul and quickly found a family and friends that I'll never forget,” she says. “I still talk to so many of my classmates and my instructors and counselors still check on me and are still so supportive in my career decisions.”
So, what advice would Kary give to others?
“If I could talk to those who aren't sure on taking the leap, I'd say, ‘Go for it!’” she says. “It was the scariest adventure and the best decision I've made as of yet.”
Brightwood College does not guarantee employment or advancement.