Hurricane Ike Survivor Wins National Scholarship Award
Posted Monday, Oct 11, 2010 by
HOUSTON (October 11, 2010) – Corinthian Colleges, parent company of Everest Institute, today awarded Maricela Barrientes the company’s 2010 Dream Award. The award recognizes graduates who have overcome personal obstacles to complete their studies and find success in their chosen fields. Barrientes was selected from over 100 campus winners and awarded a full Everest scholarship to continue her education.
Barrientes, wife and mother of five, literally lost it all when Hurricane Ike hit Houston in September 2008. Barrientes’ home and all of her family’s belongings were severely damaged and at the same time, she lost her job. Basic necessities – food, clothing and shelter – instantly became luxuries. No water, no power, and waiting in long FEMA lines (with four children and a newborn in tow) made daily life an unbearable struggle.
Less than a year after the hurricane hit and still working on the massive cleanup effort, Barrientes enrolled in Everest’s Medical Administrative Assistant program. Motivated by her children and hopes for a better future, she began training for her career – driving more than 80 miles roundtrip every day to attend classes in Houston.
“Although I knew it would be a struggle, I knew I had to make it work and I never gave up,” said Barrientes. “My decision to attend Everest shaped my future and the future of my children for the better. I don’t know where I’d be without Everest.”
Barrientes maintained perfect attendance while in school with the exception of one day – the day of her 7-year-old daughter’s emergency heart surgery. Barrientes resumed her studies the very next day, while caring for her daughter and still living in difficult conditions.
“Maricela Barrientes is truly an inspiration to the Everest community of students, faculty and staff,” said Ken Ratliff, campus president, Everest Institute – Houston Hobby. “Given what she has already accomplished despite the obstacles she has faced, we are confident that she will make a better future for her family and those around her.”
Barrientes earned her Medical Administrative Assistant diploma from Everest Institute in Houston Hobby in May 2010 and is now working as a Medical Administrative Assistant at Immediate Medical Care in Nassau Bay, Texas.
To view Barrientes’ story, please visit http://www.youtube.com/user/Everest.
About Everest – Texas
Everest Colleges and Institutes provide career-oriented diploma and degree programs in health care, criminal justice, skilled trades, business, paralegal, and information technology. Everest – Texas has 7,500 students at nine campuses located in Arlington, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. Everest has over 100 schools in the U.S. and Canada, and is owned by Corinthian Colleges, Inc., one of the largest post-secondary education companies in North America. For more information, visit www.Everest.edu.