After a challenging journey through school, this quarter's True Blue Alum has found success and inspired her family through earning her associate degree and beginning a career in her field.
Jessica Dailey, Class of 2016, began attending online classes at UMA in the Fall of 2015. However, Jessica’s journey to UMA was not an easy one. After dropping out of high school and becoming a single mother of two, Jessica decided to go back to school at the age of 30 to earn her GED at a local community college in Kentucky. Shortly after obtaining her GED, Jessica began taking classes at a nearby college but soon realized a traditional classroom setting wasn’t right for her.
When her children’s struggles in school began to mirror her own, Jessica realized she needed to do something to improve her situation and inspire her children. That’s when she began searching for online schools that were a better fit for her learning style and needs. She enrolled at UMA—a choice that would positively impact the future of her family.
Jessica was inspired to finish her degree by her children, who both have a Specific Learning Disability (SLD). Additionally, Jessica's daughter has hearing challenges, and doctors say she will likely become completely deaf within five years.
“I have two special needs kids, so I wanted them to [say], ‘Mom’s in her thirties and she went back to school, so if she can do it, then I can do it.’”
A member of the Alpha Beta Kappa Honor Society, Jessica succeeded in her career training at UMA and graduated with a 4.0 in the Medical Administrative Assistant associate degree program in October 2016.
After graduation, Jessica worked with Career Services to find her current job as a patient care technician at The Little Clinic. Jessica’s advisor encouraged her to attend a career fair, where Jessica interviewed with one of the regional clinical directors and was offered the job on the spot.
“My advisor helped me recognize my strengths and coached me on my selling points and what I can bring to the table,” she said. “There’s a lot of things that UMA prepared me for with this job.”
At The Little Clinic, Jessica takes vitals, collects patient histories, escorts patients into the exam room and operates the front desk.
Now that she's graduated and found success in her job, Jessica intends to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Healthcare Management. Jessica's dream is to work on the charity side of medicine, since she currently spends her time seasonally volunteering with local organizations.
We are extremely proud of Jessica for showing her children the positive impact of education, and for demonstrating the importance of giving back to her community.
Watch Jessica tell her story first hand here.