Everest College’s Colorado Springs campus is proud to announce recent Everest College graduate Tracy Willits as its 2012 Dream Award winner. The Dream Award is presented annually to students who have overcome extraordinary challenges to complete their post-secondary education. As a Dream Award winner, Willits will receive a $2,500 Everest College scholarship to pursue an advanced program in his field of study.
Willits began his Computer Information Science program at the Everest College Colorado Springs campus with a different set of obstacles than many of his fellow students. An auto mechanic and single father of four, he was the oldest member of the class and had several other personal and professional responsibilities. Additionally, Willits’s formal education had ended in the eighth grade, and while he did earn his GED, he was quick to admit that school had never been his strong point.
Although Willits initially struggled to keep up with the curriculum, what truly defined him was his determination to succeed. After years of enduring life lessons, he understood, perhaps better than anyone, that Everest College was his ticket to a better life. His persistence began to pay off after just one quarter as his grades improved and he became one of the first students in the computer information science program to become an Everest Ambassador, an initiative program that empowers students to become leaders and mentors across the campus.
“Tracy’s leadership and enthusiasm are infectious. His efforts and success truly exemplify the attitude we hope to cultivate in each one of our students,” said Heidii Godbold, Academic Dean at Everest College’s Colorado Springs campus.
As he continued to progress academically, Willits began to see other aspects of his life improve as well. He was selected for a prestigious work-study program at the registrar’s office, began volunteering within the community and eventually gained permanent employment as a network technician at Forward Communications. When not working or spending time with his children, who are 16, 14, 11 and 10 years old, Willits continues to volunteer at the Salvation Army, where he performs maintenance and repairs to keep the organization running smoothly.
“Tracy is a great example of what can be accomplished when you do not let the challenges of life get in the way of creating a better future for yourself. The Everest team is proud of Tracy’s hard work and dedication and wish him the best as he begins his new career,” said Godbold.
Having officially completed his Associate degree in summer of 2012, Willits is eager to continue his education and plans to put the $2,500 scholarship toward earning his bachelor’s degree. “I came a long way from where I started,” Willits says of his journey at Everest College. “My best advice to anyone who wants to change their life is to try hard and work harder.”
About Everest College
Everest College’s Colorado Springs campus, located at 1815 Jet Wing Drive, offers a variety of programs for full-time and part-time students, including massage therapy, medical administrative assistant, medical assistant, criminal justice, accounting and business. Everest has schools throughout 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. For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program and other important information, please visit our website at www.everest.edu/disclosures.