Alicia Long was 9 years old when she first entered the foster care system. She was 13 years old when she started getting in trouble for delinquency and running away from placements. By the time she was 28 years old, she had been using drugs for 11 ½ years.
Alicia moved to Colorado in 2015 for a fresh start but ended up in the same situation. It wasn’t until 2019 when she found out she was pregnant that she and her partner decided to change their lives.
“I didn’t even think that I could have a normal life worth much, let alone get pregnant,” said Alicia. “We both finally had a reason to be better people and we got clean together.”
Alicia also took the brave step to further her education. Within two weeks of being sober, Alicia started IntelliTec College.
“I didn’t see anything further past my addiction. When I signed up for IntelliTec College, that was the first step I had taken toward my education,” said Alicia. “I was still going through withdrawals, but I was determined to change my life and break the cycle with my kids.”
Alicia wanted to become a medical assistant and she looked at several different colleges. She ultimately chose IntelliTec College because of the people.
“IntelliTec had the more personable and welcoming staff. I was still pretty fragile in my recovery and the environment was very uplifting and supportive,” she said.
Alicia said that though she was going through personal struggles, IntelliTec College helped her complete her goals.
“IntelliTec College has an easy-to-learn environment. You don’t feel stressed or pressure. No one is judging you. You can almost go at your own pace and there is help if you need it. And I needed a lot of help at that time in my life,” said Alicia. “I needed a lot of understanding and a lot of companionship. And I got all of those things at IntelliTec. There are not enough good things that I can say about the program,” she said.
Alicia graduated in 2020 with phlebotomy and medical assistant certifications. She is still in touch with many of her instructors and classmates.
“IntelliTec College is very close-knit, like a family,” said Alicia. “You get close to not only your instructors but your peers. Even people I didn’t graduate with. When you meet someone who went to IntelliTec it is an instant bond.”
After graduation, Alicia began working in urgent care as a medical assistant. She said that her past experiences have allowed her to help people who are going through similar struggles.
“Working as a medical assistant really made me realize my passion. I want to go back to school and get my nursing degree so I can really help addicts and other people who are struggling,” she said.
Today, Alicia is happy and healthy. She and her husband are celebrating 4 ½ years of being clean, have built their own home and are raising two beautiful young children. Alicia credits IntelliTec College for helping her turn her life around.
“The biggest thing that IntelliTec College taught me was confidence and worth and that helped me to break the cycles that had such a hold over my life for so long that were passed down through generations,” said Alicia. “I learned that my nurturing side was much more powerful than the struggles that I had gone through for so many years. And overcoming those things have made me a good mom, a good wife and a better person. IntelliTec College played a big part in the beginning of my journey and for that I will forever be grateful.”