Our final True Blue Alum of 2017 began her career in healthcare when she was in high school. Erulan Dowdy ‘17 enrolled in a dual program with a local career center to get her Certified Nursing Assistant credential. Then her career in healthcare continued when she enlisted in the Navy and was stationed at Bethesda Naval Hospital.
Erulan worked in Central Supply stocking the linen cart and the supply cart for different wards in the hospital. She learned equipment sterilization during her time in the Navy, and she continued to find herself drawn to healthcare. After her time in service, Erulan received a diploma from another school before enrolling at Ultimate Medical Academy in 2015. This year, Erulan successfully earned her associate degree in Medical Billing and Coding.
Since she was working more than one job at the time of her enrollment, she knew online schooling was the way to go.
"There was something that kept drawing me back to the UMA site when I was making the decision about going to school and where I wanted to go," she said. "When I got the phone call from UMA, the vibe was just really good. The person I talked to was excited to talk to me. They made me feel really, really comfortable and that's what won me over."
Erulan graduated with academic honors from UMA's Medical Billing and Coding associate degree program in March of this year. She worked with Career Services to find the right job for her—a Medical Receptionist/Biller position at American Physical Therapy. After one month in her role, Erulan’s hard work was rewarded with a raise and a promotion to Office Manager.
Erulan's work doesn't stop there. She also works part-time at the YMCA as a Childcare Worker—playing games, providing snacks, and talking with them during their before- and after-school programs and during the summer. Her love for kids extends far beyond her work at the YMCA and taking care of her eight children.
Erulan also serves as the Fundraising Chair and the Family Committee Chair on her Junior League Football and Cheer organization's Board of Directors. On the board, she implements new ideas to help the junior league football and cheer team raise money for trips, uniforms, philanthropy initiatives, and more. She also works on involving the families in events before the season begins and manages the team's equipment.
"I have been with this organization for 15 years—I transitioned from being a cheerleading coach and helping out some to actually having a board and committee role."
Erulan plans to go back to school and enroll in a dual bachelor's/master's program for Healthcare Administration next summer. We are so proud of Erulan for all that she does with the children in her community, for serving her country, and for her aspirations to continue her education.