Neomi Garcia was unsure about going back to school but once she began the Medical Billing and Insurance Coding program at United Education Institute Las Vegas there was nothing that was going to stop her. Despite having little outside support, Neomi was able to graduate and begin a career she could rely on.
“I just wanted to show my kids that mom can do it by herself,” she said. “I didn’t want to let them down.”
Before beginning school, Neomi had been working at restaurants or warehouses—whatever she could find. She wanted to do more but she had dropped out of high school during her sophomore year to take care of her father and her lack of an education was holding her back.
The healthcare field seemed to call to her and when Neomi learned about Medical Billing and Insurance Coding, she felt like it was a good fit for her skills.
Getting back into the routine of attending school was not easy. There were several times when Neomi’s childcare plans fell through, and as a single mother she was forced to miss class. She brought her problems to the staff at the school and was met with compassion.
“The staff at the school were amazing,” Neomi said. “I felt like I was ready to give up and they were always there to remind me that I could do it. It was a really good support system. They always told me if I needed anything I could just ask. I was at a point where I just sat down crying and said I feel like you guys just think I have too many excuses and they wouldn’t believe me, but they told me otherwise. They really helped me change my mindset.”
With that support holding her together, Neomi was able to come out of her comfort zone and become an ambassador for the school. She volunteered her time to help other students who were struggling.
“She was extremely helpful and encouraged students on how to get their work done,” said Randi King, Neomi’s instructor. “She’s very intelligent. She’s had to come through a whole lot of situations, but she still finished the program. She is a survivor.”
Neomi’s biggest hurdle came when it was time for her externship, and she found herself homeless. She spent many weeks living out of a motel or out of her car but the thought of providing for her kids kept her going.
“Knowing I was doing it for them so that they could be proud of where I was at and to give them better because it’s basically just me that they have,” she said. “I have to be the one to come through and cheer them up or help them. I had to make sure I was always right there.”
A few months after graduation, Neomi was able to find a stable job in the field.
“I feel very grateful for my instructors,” she said. “They were the best instructors you could have. I don’t think I would have been able to go through it if not for them. They always knew what was going on with me. They really stayed on it to make sure I was staying focused and that I was doing good, and I was going to make it through.”