In high school I had low self-esteem. I lacked confidence. I struggled in school, due to a learning disability. My Biology teacher noticed that I could articulate everything in class, but was not successful on my tests. He contacted my mother and found a great resource for me. By simply changing the test format to an auditory exam, I got straight A’s.
My freshman year at college, I had the opportunity to do a work-study program in the Disability Services Office. An advisor there noticed I was struggling and referred me to a program where I learned to adapt my learning style needs and succeed in my future professional development.
Growing up, I always thought I wanted to be a nurse or at least work in the Healthcare Field. In high school, I took at hospital internship and became a certified nurse’s aide and worked in the Hematology/Oncology unit. I, then, became an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and worked in the CathLab. After that experience, I took Surgical Technology training and worked in the operating room.
Between 2001-2003, my life changed in many ways:
– Moved to Indianapolis with my fiancé (now husband)- Happily married for 13 years
– Got married
– Ruptured 2 vertebrae while moving a patient in the operating room. A spinal fusion was required and I had to find a new career as I could not handle the lifting requirement in the Operating Room (age 24)
– I was left being 20% disabled (which no one would recognize any deficits today)
I am a go-getter, so after 15 weeks of rehabilitation and another 6 months of continued recovery, I made the choice to return to school for my Bachelor’s Degree. Prior to this “curveball” I only had certificates not a college degree. Not only did I get my degree, but I was focused on being at the top of my class. Through my electives, I found a new interest, Human Resources, and obtained my Human Resource Certificate.
Then in 2014, I took another leap of faith and enrolled in the University of Indianapolis, Strategic Leadership & Design Program. To date, I have a 3.9 GPA.
Each leg of my journey brings new opportunity. Whether through new friendships, business relationship or just new opportunities…I embrace them all.
I encourage each of you to embrace your life journey…wherever it takes you. You can do anything you set your mind to. Surround yourself with mentors and “pay it forward.” Life is a journey that you make for yourself. Don’t let obstacles get in your way, but rather look at them as “curveballs” and find ways to adapt.
If I could give advice to my younger self, I would say that I can be anything I set out to be. I would tell myself to embrace the curveballs that are sent my way as opportunities for my journey ahead.
– Susan Rider, Human Capital Consultant –
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