TAMPA, Fla. - Michele Hendricks, 29, Noblesville, has been named Ultimate Medical Academy's Fall True Blue Alum.
Hendricks earned her certificate in the Medical Administrative Assistant (MAA) program in November 2015 and her MAA Associate degree in December 2016 from the online school.
Hendricks' interest in healthcare started at a young age. Her mom worked in a doctor's office and her family, including herself, suffered several health issues over the years. Around 2005, Hendricks' dad was diagnosed with stage IV prostate cancer and passed away the day after her birthday. At the time of his passing, Hendricks was 6 months pregnant and her life was about to take another turn.
After her daughter was born, Hendricks' life began to spiral out of control. She began her battle with opiate addiction. As Hendricks sought treatment, her heart stopped and she was in and out of the hospital. To get her life back on track, Hendricks knew she needed to leave the lifestyle that was wreaking havoc over her and her daughter's life. That's when she turned to Ultimate Medical Academy to help her craft a new course for their life.
"My experience [at UMA] was exactly what I needed when I needed it the most," Hendricks said. "I had some great advisors and my professors were always available. They always encouraged me to push myself and to always do a little better than the last time. I credit their dedication with helping me attain a 4.0 GPA in both programs."
Ultimate Medical Academy's online programs allowed Hendricks to earn a degree while continuing to work and take care of her daughter. Her school advisors assisted with preparing her to secure her position with Midwest Eye Consultants. And, thanks to the skills she built at the school, she was soon rewarded with a promotion.
"My advisors really helped me. They gave me the tools and foundation I needed to come into a place like Midwest and thrive," Hendricks said. "They helped me meet my ultimate goals in life - raise my daughter, keep growing in my healthcare career, buy a house, and not struggle from day-to-day."
As an optical manager with Midwest Eye Consultants in Noblesville, Hendricks manages a team of opticians and ensures patient care is first and foremost. She also files all insurance benefits. Hendricks even implemented a contact lens recycling program in various Midwest Eye Consultants throughout Indiana.
"Michele has shown tremendous growth during her time with us at Midwest Eye Consultants," Dr. Scott Unger said. "Through her hard work, dedication, and eagerness to learn, she has proven she belongs in optometry. We're all very proud of her and lucky to have her on our team."
Enrolling at Ultimate Medical Academy allowed Hendricks to follow her dreams and achieve goals she never thought possible at work and in the community. In Noblesville, she is a community addiction advocate raising awareness and mentoring young adults who are struggling to see a bright future. Later this year, she intends to become a Certified Paraoptometric, or CPO.
"Because we all come from various directions in our lives, don't ever let your current situation define who you'll be for the rest of your life," Hendricks explained. "Don't ever do less just because it's easier - you'll never get rewarded for doing less. Always strive to be the best you can be and give all you have to succeed. So many doors will open for you if you keep up the hard work."
Ultimate Medical Academy highlights an outstanding True Blue Alum quarterly who is serving their community, excelling in their career and accomplishing other noteworthy achievements. Once selected, they are featured on the Ultimate Medical Academy website, in the Ultimate Medical Academy Alumni Newsletter and on Ultimate Medical Academy's exclusive alumni networking platform, ConnectUMA. True Blue Alum also receive congratulations from Ultimate Medical Academy's President Derek Apanovitch, a certificate of recognition and an official school spirit item.
"Student success stories like Michele's are why we do what we do," Apanovitch said. "She is an inspiration to our students, faculty, staff, and alumni and the wider community. We are proud to have helped Michele accomplish her goals at school and in her healthcare career and to recognize her for her achievements."