Our final True Blue Alum of 2018 has not only excelled in her career but has impacted the youth of her community by founding a local nonprofit.
Shortly after graduating from UMA, Selina Campbell, Class of 2014, focused on a lifelong passion and founded Union County Kids—a nonprofit based in Monroe, NC.
Selina created Union County Kids to provide mentorship to middle school youth. Her goal is to teach life skills and prepare them for the future. Through a variety of activities, Selina and her volunteers share advice on setting career goals, financial literacy, and civic responsibility to 12 students annually.
Selina spent countless hours working with the state and federal government to start her nonprofit, but her community involvement started years before. She uses her own UMA journey to encourage her mentees to pursue higher education.
"Without me furthering my education, I wouldn’t be where I am today. UMA was a tremendous resource to me. Without UMA, I don’t think I would have grown academically as I have, professionally as I have, and I don't think I would be able to provide to the youth of the community without this knowledge. I have been able to provide them with the knowledge of moving up and moving forward with their education."
Because of her UMA education, Selina is able to show the nontraditional education opportunities that are available to her mentees.
Selina's journey to UMA came several years after working in various health-related jobs.
"Prior to starting school, I’d been in the medical field for 15 years,” she said. “I felt like I plateaued, and that’s why it was very important for me to gain the additional education—so I could move forward and move up through the ranks of my career.”
Selina believed that advancing her education would open up new doors. After speaking with a friend who works as a medical coder, Selina pursued UMA's Medical Billing and Coding diploma program. Then she continued her education and earned an associate degree from UMA in the same field of study.
She was hired at her current company as a Pre-Certification and Referral Specialist. Since Selina is a single mother, her new position significantly changed her family's life in a positive way.
Selina quickly began advancing in her career, most recently taking over surgical booking for an OB-GYN group of eight offices. She has been promised a promotion to Surgical Coordinator, which should take effect at the end of the year.
Selina sees a bright future ahead. She made it clear in her initial interview that she wanted to advance within the company—something she recommends all graduates do.
"Because I was up front with my goals, they knew I was going to take my position seriously, and I think that's what has helped me become promoted in this position," She said. "It’s very important that grads let their employer know that they are looking forward to growing."
At first, Selina struggled with the interview process, but she worked with UMA's Interview Prep Specialist team to prepare and make a good impression.
"The interview process was difficult for me because I wasn't good at expressing myself,” she said.
However, once she worked with UMA’s practice interview team, she grew in her abilities.
“Utilize all of your resources that UMA offers,” Selina advises other graduates. “I think a lot of people after they graduate feel like these resources might not be helpful to them, but from my experience, I can say the resources helped me grow. Without them, I think I would have continued to plateau or been in a standstill in my career."
We are proud of Selina for striding forward in her career, and for following her dream of starting a nonprofit that makes an impact in her community.