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Our Graduate Success Stories

Scottie Jean Lovell Andrews, a native of Wichita, Kansas, is a true country girl. When Scottie was young, the whole family had to move back to Alabama so her father could take care of his mother. Scottie grew up in a rural Alabama town, one of six children. Her father was a construction worker and her mother worked nights at a cotton mill. Scottie and her siblings would wake up at 4am to get their father up for work and prepare the younger siblings for school until their mother returned from her job.

Scottie helped tending to chickens and cows on the family's property; instead of taking summer holiday vacations, Scottie worked in their garden planting potatoes and carrots.

Up until the age of 16 everything was going well for Scottie.

Suddenly, however, her younger brother passed away. Scottie was devastated. She turned to drugs and lost interest in her high school classes. Looking back, Scottie now realizes that she was grieving for her brother, and that she simply wanted to hurry up and graduate. Soon after high school graduation she married and had two children. Scottie was able to find a job in the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, CNA. She worked nursing assistant jobs for many years but it was a stressful life, and the income was barely sufficient for the needs of her growing family. Scottie came to feel that she was running in place, living paycheck to paycheck – and she worried that is just how life was supposed to be. Throughout, however, Scottie pushed her own kids to get good educations. And eventually, she decided to practice what she had been preaching to her children about educational attainment.

After she had been working nursing assistant jobs for about 15 years, Scottie hit another bump in the road. The company where she worked downsized and Scottie lost her job. After months of job-hunting, she couldn't find a position in the same field. Employers told her that despite her lengthy experience, they would not hire her because she did not have education in the medical field. It was then, at age 45, that Scottie made the decision that she had to go back to school and get an education.

Scottie never thought she would go back to school after she graduated from high school. But after she researched some schools, found that Herzing University Online courses offered her the flexibility she needed. She knew she would not have time to go to a campus to attend classes because she was working as a hospice caretaker. Her days consisted of working long hours and then coming home only to study until bed time. It was a rough 16 months and Scottie says that only determination got her through. Her school choice eventually paid off: Herzing helped her find a job after graduation.

After graduating from Herzing at the head of the Dean's List with honors, Scottie got a job in medical coding and billing. Since starting in May 2007, Scottie has received three pay raises. She says she had little self-esteem before she went to school at 45. Now at 50 years old, Scottie feels very confident in herself.

Her future looks bright. She is scheduled to take the coding certification exam soon and hopes to be able to work from home after she gets her certification. Scottie is looking forward to spending more time at home with her 11 grandchildren.

Scottie Jean Lovell Andrews