Campus President, NashvilleHaley
“Ultimately, I am responsible for the overall day-to-day operations at the campus. I work with other managers to make sure that the students get the support that they need. I love it here. This is my second home. I’ve been here for 12 years. I started as an Admissions Representative, then moved into the Director of Admissions role. Now as Campus President, I feel I am in a great spot to make an impact on the lives of our students. I never thought I would be here this long. This campus has a special place in my heart and in my life.
At Brightwood, Nashville, we came up with a motto a few years ago… ‘We want to great a culture that is focused on our students’ success in an environment where staff, faculty, and students are empowered to do their best.’ We start every staff meeting by reading this motto and strive to live up to it each day. Empowering others, be it staff or students, is really what it is all about.
Our ultimate goal is to ensure that our students can pursue jobs in their career fields. Everything we do is geared towards our students’ success. We have to be prepared for anything because no two days look the same. There are different challenges each day and we have to be prepared to handle all of them.
Some of our students don’t have a strong support system outside of here. Others come here because we serve as a ‘safe zone’. This may be the warmest or safest place they get to come to each day. Some students may not have someone to give them an extra pat on the back. That is what we are here for. Every student, every situation, is unique. We want to make sure that every student that graduates from here leaves with the skills they need to be successful. Graduation is our favorite time of year. We get really attached to our students. To see the pride on their faces when they walk across the stage is priceless.
“My life would have been completely different if it were not for education and taking that leap of faith.”
I’ve grown up here. This was my first job out of college. This campus is special to me and our team shares a special bond. A lot of us have been together 8-10 years. I want to make sure that we take care of the campus. This isn’t just a job. It is my purpose. It is hard work, lots of it. We are a passionate bunch. We really believe in what we do here and that is what makes us tick. I didn’t have the experience to run a campus, necessarily, but I had the heart and the passion and the willingness to learn.
I’m from Pulaski, Tennessee, which is a small town. I’m one of the first from my family to move to the ‘big city’. I am happy to have been raised there. There is something to be said for the bonds that are formed in a small town.
I wouldn’t be here today had I not had the courage to get out of a bad relationship, and move away to college. My life would have been completely different if it were not for education and for taking that leap of faith. That is why I am so passionate about what we do here. Brightwood gives me an outlet to use my story to help others.
My husband is my rock. We got engaged when I was working here as an admissions representative, so he understands the passion that I have for what we do. I actually left for two years and did medical sales. I enjoyed it and had a lot of flexibility, but my heart was still with the campus. I wanted to come back. Some people thought I was crazy for giving up the flexibility that I had, but it has been the one of the best decisions I have made. I’m thankful that my husband is so supportive. I couldn’t do this job without his support.
I work hard and sometimes long hours, but my husband is helpful with our daughter to make sure that I am able to continue doing what I love. Ella, my daughter, loves to come to the campus. Sometimes she comes up after school and she thinks she is the president. She goes around and talks to everyone. She loves this place. This campus has been a part of her life since she was born and she is very attached to the team. She loves coming to Graduation. It does my heart good to see her interact with our students and share in their success. She is one of my life’s greatest blessings and I am fortunate to be able to show her what it means to be a strong woman.
“You’re going to get out of this experience what you put into it.”
When hiring new employees, I always ask, ‘What is your story?’ I believe every person has a story. How you use your story to help others will be your legacy. I think that our employees have to have a story. Something that they’ve overcome in their life that lead them to be successful. If someone had a silver spoon growing up, they probably won’t be able to relate to our students. A lot of times employees will open up and share their story and that creates a bond from the very beginning. Also it opens up doors for conversations with students. It helps the team at Brightwood to connect students with the right people.
So, take the leap of faith. You’re going to get out of this experience what you put into it. If you come to school and just do the bare minimum, then that is what you are going to get. But if you come and work hard and network with your classmates, instructors, and staff, you are going to walk away from this experience with so much more than just an education. You will have gained a family and the confidence that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.”