Going above and beyond: How a private career college taught a student a life altering lesson
August 27, 2014 / NORTHRIDGE, California
Students at InterCoast CollegeJust three years ago, 48-year-old Anthony Perez was collecting cans and asking random people whether they needed their grass mowed just to make ends meet. Back then, taking almost any sort of job that paid cash was a way of life for Perez.
“I had a colorful past and there weren’t many options available to me for steady work,” said Perez.
But caring for his mother who was recovering from a recent stroke, Perez knew that something had to change in his life. After some soul-searching he decided the best path was to go back to school.
Perez enrolled at InterCoast College at the Orange, Calif. campus.
Intercoast is a private career college designed to provide associates degree and diploma level career programs that prepare students to succeed in specialized fields of allied health, legal, business, and trade industries.
More than two decades removed from the classroom, Perez knew the road ahead wasn’t going to be easy.
“It was difficult at first but it’s just like riding a bike. It comes back to you fairly quickly,” said Perez.
Perez entered the Substance Abuse Counseling program and before long, found himself in sociology and psychology courses and studying the mental deficiencies that accompany drug addiction. With help and support from advisors and faculty, Perez was consistently performing at the top of the class.
“Teachers and advisors made it clear that if there was anything I needed, whether it was a question or a tutor, they would provide it for me,” said Perez. “Just knowing that I had help if I needed it was a confidence builder.”
That assistance wasn’t limited to the classroom. His advisors even helped Perez find a job for him as a night security guard at the Anaheim Broadway Treatment Center while he went to school.
Perez studied hard, and received his associates degree in July and today he is in line for a counselor position working with individuals who are recovering addicts.
“I had a leg up on others that were seeking a counseling position because my supervisors knew that I was getting an associates of applied science degree. I wouldn’t be in this job, helping people, if I didn’t attend a college that specialized in this program.
“I’m now being considered for my own counselor’s position when we open a new branch. Without the help and overwhelmingly positive reinforcement I received while at Intercoast, I don’t think I’d be where I am today and have the ability to take care of myself and my mother.”