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Blazing a Path to Success

When Elizabeth Cotroneo-Wheeler stepped onto the stage to speak at her college graduation she looked out into the audience and individually thanked each of her three young children.

The looks on their faces, Elizabeth said, was worth every difficult or stressful moment during the two years she worked to stand there that day.

"My oldest child said if I could take classes while taking care of them, then he could do it," Elizabeth said. "They really enjoyed being at the ceremony to take part in my accomplishment."

The mom of three began her journey at Bryant & Stratton when her children were 8, 4 and newborn. She had worked as a medical biller before having children and wanted to prepare to re-enter the workforce while still caring for her them.

"I wanted a program that would give me the quality education that I was looking for, the convenience of being able to do my coursework online, and still being able to spend time with my family," she said.

Two years later,  Elizabeth graduated with an Associate Degree in Medical Reimbursement and Coding. The most difficult part she said, as any working parent can guess, was squeezing work, family and school into her schedule.

"Finding the time to do everything that I had to do and learning to ask for help when I needed it," Elizabeth said.

That was tough. Bryant & Stratton, she said, was integral in helping her strike that delicate balance. Her number one piece of advice is for students to reach out to staff and ask for help.

"Be sure to use all of the resources available to you. If you feel that you are falling behind or cannot do it, be sure to speak with your advisors or instructors," Elizabeth said. "They want you to succeed and are willing to take the time to work with you."

Currently, Elizabeth is working fulltime at Independent Health, a local insurer as a network reimbursement specialist, a position that Bryant & Stratton Career Services helped her find. The office is continuing to assist her with her job search as she looks now for a position that will allow her to work from home.

"I would recommend Bryant and Stratton to anyone who is seeking to further their education," she said.


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