Paralegal Studies, NashvilleAlethia


“I did two years of a regular four-year school. So I’ve had that experience. I had actually always wanted to be an attorney. But when we moved to Nashville, I did a lot of research first, and it showed that it was super expensive to get into and that the market here was saturated.

#WeAreBrightwood

I came from a banking background, an extensive one. I started out in New York working at a bank on Long Island, and I moved into Queens and worked for a bank out there for a little while in compliance. When I moved back to New Hampshire, which is where I am from, I worked at a bank in Vermont. There was a law firm upstairs and they wanted one person to handle all of their estate accounts. I just happened to be the person they picked, and we developed a relationship. It’s always nagged at me that this is something that I’ve wanted to do. When I started working there I was still new, and I still didn’t really know how to do everything. They really took me under their wing.

I graduated in 2013 with an associate’s degree in paralegal studies. I actually got a job about six months before I graduated and later moved on to my current position. I do insurance defense, car accidents, house fires, floods, that type of thing. I just had a baby, so I am going to stay home through the summer with him. He has some GI issues, and it’s scary to put someone in daycare like that.

“The fact that I got hired before I graduated was pretty cool.”

I started out as a day student and eventually had to get a day job at a bank. That was a struggle for me. Learning how to balance, then working five days a week and transitioning to the night program. So I was working five days a week, going to class four nights a week until 9:30 p.m. So that was probably my biggest challenge; learning how to balance, do homework, asking the questions that I didn’t think of in class.

I chose Brightwood for a couple of different reasons. I wanted an ABA-approved program. That was important to me. I had looked through some job listings online before moving here, and most of the things that I saw would say degree required in paralegal studies or a certificate from an ABA-approved program. I did the degree program, which was approved, and that was important to me because that’s how I was going to eventually get a job.

“Not everybody comes right out of high school and goes to college.”

Everybody was awesome, and encouraging, and positive, and helpful. Not everybody comes right out of high school and goes to college. Not everybody has been in school the last 10 years even before they come here. It was a very welcoming environment, and no one was scared to ask a question. I really loved the small class size because it was a much more intimate environment where you could talk more and learn a bunch of stuff from other people.

I was one of the founding members of the National Honor Society. I am really proud of that. I was also an ambassador, which I loved because I wanted to make other people feel comfortable and show them that it’s not scary and that people are great there. The fact that I got hired before I graduated was pretty cool. I mean, a lot of that is that the school has a great reputation, the program has a great reputation, and the teachers who are still working in the field have a great reputation.

A lot of my teachers at Brightwood inspired me and still do. Probably my favorite teachers there were paralegals first and then attorneys. They just know how to speak paralegal. Sometimes an attorney teacher who may not have that experience speaks to you like an attorney and you kind of have a class full of people going like, ‘What?’ A lot of them hold full-time jobs and teach part-time and have families, and somehow they make it work. And that’s inspiring.”

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Miranda, San Antonio - San Pedro“I came here a year after high school. I wanted to start my career and establish myself.”

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Kevin, Indianapolis“I played football for a long time, and I even had my stint in the World League.”

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Sandy, Nashville“I spent a good portion of my life in shelters, churches and people’s homes.”

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Are you a Brightwood College student, graduate or staff member?We’d love to hear your story!

“It has taken me three tries and three different schools to find a place that I enjoy and a career field I love.”

Anna, Friendswood Student

“I came to the United States searching for a future with my husband and two little boys. I wasn't sure how I was going to speak another language or where to start seaching for a job. I learned the language and got more confident about myself, but I felt like I was incomplete. I needed a career.”

Leslie, Laredo Graduate

“My children are my world, and I want them to see their mom as a successful person.”

Guadalupe, Modesto Student

“I have worked in Career Development for over five years and still have the same passion for helping our students as I did on day one. Improving the outlook of someone's life motivates me.”

Athenai, Fort Worth Staff Member

“I am motivated by my students who are enrolled to make a better life for themselves and their families. It motivates me watching them overcome many life obstacles and cross that finish line and graduate. The strength of my students is amazing!”

Marianne, Fort Worth Staff Member

“My parents are both immigrants. Being the first in my family to go to college has made my parents proud.”

Leonor, Vista Student

“Having three small children hasn't always been easy, but striving to make sure they are secure is what drives me.”

Audreyona, IndianapolisStudent

“No matter what may ever happen to you in life, you can pull yourself out.”

Brittany, NashvilleStudent

“If I can’t be in the Marine Corps anymore and protecting my country, I might as well be protecting people from something else — bad teeth!”

Audrey, Vista Student

“My proudest moment was the first day I walked into class and found my place in life.”

Catherine, Fort Worth Student

“I have always been in love with the dental field.”

Tyshawna, Indianapolis Student

“I help students take the leap every day. The difference is that I refuse to let them fall. I believe in their success!”

Latanya, CharlotteAdmissions Representative

“My kids and my grandkids motivate me. I want them to be able to know, no matter your age or situation, never give up on your dreams.”

Yvonne, Dayton Student

“I get to help students take that next step and push themselves to be more than they thought they could.”

Joe, El Paso Career Development Specialist

“Students motivate me every day. A chance to speak to them and show them that they do have a chance is extremely rewarding to me.”

Elizabeth, Fort WorthStudent Finance Support Specialist

“No matter what difficulties you face in life there is always hope. Tomorrow is another day with new opportunities. Love life, love people, love yourself. You are worth it.”

Amber, Modesto Student

“You have to believe in yourself and believe that you are worth it every step of the way.”

Stephanie, Fort WorthInstructor

“The proudest moment of my life was when I had my first interview and they offered me the job. I am happy with the place, and I love my job!”

Mariana, Charlotte Graduate

“I was afraid because I have been out of school for a very long time and was doubting myself, but I knew I needed to go back to school.”

Kimberly, Indianapolis Student

“I always wanted to go back to school but it seemed impossible working full-time and taking care of four children. My kids are the reason I chose this field. They have a lot of problems with their teeth, and after so many treatments, I found out this career is very interesting.”

Mirla, Indianapolis Student

“I know what it’s like to lose everything then work hard to make a good life for myself and my children. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. It’s not who you are, it’s who you can become.”

Melody Ann, Hammond Student Finance Supervisor

“I make it my mission to create a campus culture of family and a sense of belonging. We know our students' names, we know their stories, we know what makes them smile. We listen to our students, and we recognize them for changing their life and making it happen!”

Shaheen, Fort Worth Staff Member

“I needed to do something hands-on and slightly behind the scenes. So I chose pharmacy technician. The job I am doing is a perfect fit for me.”

Bright, San Antonio - San Pedro Graduate

“As a first-generation American, first-generation college graduate, and having been a young parent, I am motivated to help my students, many of whom share a similar life experience.”

Alex, Chula Vista Campus President

“I chose the medical field because I want to be able to help people. You have to have a good heart and a lot of patience to work in this field.”

Monica, CharlotteStudent

“No matter how hard my circumstances were, I never gave up.”

Taviona, Riverside Graduate

“My daughter motivates me every single day. I want the best future for her. I want to show her anything is possible and to go after your goals.”

Jazmine, Fort Worth Student

“I loved my careeer in healthcare. Now I love passing on the knowledge and real-world experiences to my students.”

Margie, Fort Worth Instructor

“I realized that college parties, the traditional classroom setting, and being far from home was not for me. I knew I wanted to continue with a career path that would help people and benefit society.”

Natalie, Indianapolis Student

“My children motivate me. Their father died when they were 7 and 11. Now I must provide a life for them on my own.”

Rachel, Dayton Graduate

“I enjoy watching students evolve and become responsible, hard-working individuals.”

Kendra, Fort WorthStudent Finance Support Specialist

“I proved to myself that obstacles do come your way, but when you have your mind set on what you want you will achieve it. I’m now a dental assistant!”

Paula, Corpus Christi Graduate

“Technology has always interested me, as well as taking things apart and putting them back together.”

Cory, El Paso Instructor

“Always follow your dreams even if it seems as if you could never accomplish them. Nothing is impossible!”

Gisselle, Las Vegas Student

“My motivation comes from seeing my students succeed.”

Pamela, HammondSenior Admissions Representative

“How can I make a difference today? That’s my daily question. Coming from circumstances that shaped me into who I am today, I want to give back in a way most of us truly need.”

Kimberly, Fort WorthCareer Development Specialist

“I endeavor to remind students that life will happen with or without your personal satisfaction. Do something worthwhile. Do something you love.”

Terra, Fort Worth Dean

“I chose the Medical Assistant program because I love to help people move forward.”

Rosetta, Fort Worth Student