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New Orleans Testimonials

Rachel Carey, 29, was born and raised in New Orleans. In 2005, when Hurricane Katrina struck her home city and the surrounding Gulf Coast, it shook up Carey's world.

Carey is the middle child of 11. Carey's mother is a stay-at-home mom and her father is a retired office manager with the state of Louisiana.

Rachel Carey enjoyed her high school years, and graduated in 1999.

Yet, after high school, Carey felt she had no direction. After a 2-1/2 month stint in the Army, she was honorably discharged in 2000. She returned home and soon after was pregnant. She found a job working at a hospital as an administrative coordinator -- all the while thinking she needed to get a higher education to set a good example for her daughter.

Carey began her journey at Herzing University in May of 2004, and received her Associate's in Business Administration in December 2007. A year later, she received a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Business Management in 2008.

And last April, Carey received a Master's in Business from Herzing University Online. She says that her initial experience at Herzing in 2004 was such a "beautiful experience" that she "couldn't just stop at one" degree.

Although Carey's journey was accompanied by many obstacles it did not hinder her determination. Carey has been a single mother for almost 10 years and raising her daughter has had its challenges. She was performing successfully in her educational studies at Herzing when Hurricane Katrina hit. Like thousands of other New Orleans residents, Carey and her child faced a massive calamity.

In her case, the apartment where she lived was flooded. Carey and her daughter had to move out, leaving all her possessions behind. She was forced to relocate to Michigan and stayed there for 11 months; after returning home, she lived with her parents, whose house had been restored, for nine months. Finally, she was able to move back into an apartment of her own. But that displacement and loss created major stress in Carey's life.

Still, with the help of her family members and her classmates and instructors at Herzing, she pulled through.

Herzing's convenient class schedule, course workload and instructor assistance played a major role in her completion of all three degree programs. Many courses encouraged personal development -- which strengthened Carey in a personal way, making her more confident in her ability to achieve greater things.

She considers herself now to be an effective communicator and savvy risk-taker.

"If I could do the entire experience all over again, I would. My decision to attend Herzing has greatly impacted my life, not just academically. I met several great instructors, staff members, and students who were my second family and made the entire journey all worthwhile," Carey said.

Currently, Carey works as a developmental assistant at Loyola University. And in the future, given the challenges she has surmounted, Carey hopes to get a job where she feels she can really help people overcome challenges in their lives, too.

Rachel Carey