My educational journey has encompassed self-learning for most of my life after high-school. My father passed away when I was in seventh-grade and I was a C+ student in a Catholic High School in Lawrence, MA. I began college in Maine intending to study Marine Biology but being a mediocre student I needed student loans to cover all of my expected expenses. I dropped out several weeks after the start for fear of mounting student loan debt. At eighteen I entered the workforce as a high-school graduate, married my wife in 1981 and began a family in 1983. As expected my job choices were very limited but I held a desire to enter the technology field. After much research I chose Sylvania Technical School and entered the Telecommunications Electronics program using student loans once again, but these were limited and controllable. Our first daughter, Bethany, was born with a heart defect and passed away after heart surgery at 7-days old. Our second daughter, Noelle, was born just over a year later in 1984 but was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy at 1-year. Her care was a significant part of our existence and it took a huge effort on my part to attend Sylvania Tech three days per week at night after my job to attend classes in addition to sacrificing that time away from my family, but it was for their benefit that I was educating myself to better position me for employment that provided a living wage and benefits that we so dearly needed for Noelle’s care. Just before I graduated in 1988 with a diploma I interviewed for an Information Technology position at Raytheon and because of the reputation of Sylvania Tech and my grades I was hired as a Data Communications Field Tech.
Wentworth Institute of Technology purchased Sylvania Technical School before I completed my program so my diploma bore the Wentworth name. Because of this relationship Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston offered graduates of Sylvania/Wentworth Tech advance standing entry into an A.A.S. in Electronic Technology degree program. Raytheon’s tuition reimbursement benefits were significant enough to allow me to attend one course per semester at their Boston campus and continue my career college training. It took me five years from 1992 till 1997 to complete my associate degree. Five years of time and travel into Boston and precious time away from my family. Nights and weekends I worked at our kitchen table on study and research while my family patiently gave me the time I needed for my studies. My wife supported my endeavor by taking on additional care responsibilities for our daughter. I wanted to complete my associate degree so that I could advance my career, become a better provider, and show my growing daughter that education is important and is a lifelong endeavor. Noelle passed away on the second-to-last day of a wish trip to Disney on May 19, 1996. My life was shaken for months after that event. I did not attend the spring or summer semesters that year but eventually wanted to complete that degree for my daughter. Two more semesters and I was finally able to dedicate my degree to Noelle during graduation on May 18, 1997, one day short of the first anniversary of her death.
Afterward I honestly didn’t have the drive to continue my education at Wentworth. Like many parents who have lost children I grieved by immersing myself in my work. I continued to attend annual technical training to hone my information technology skill-sets which made me a more valuable employee but every year that passed I still thought about completing my degree. After graduating Wentworth I worked with a recruiter from Boston in a job search. He informed me that he would not be able to even get me into some corporate doors for interviews without having at least a bachelor’s degree. Fortunately after interviewing at Lahey Clinic Medical Center they valued my technical skills more than my education and hired me as a Data Communications Engineer. Each year that followed I have given consideration to completing my adult college degree but talked myself out of it. Each year I thought, “if I had only begun last year I would almost be done”. Well after a close scrutiny and self-assessment a couple of years ago about my past, present, and future life and career I decided to take that first step to completing my B.S. I realized that as I grow older I am handicapped from further career growth without completing an adult college degree, B.S. After almost twenty-five years working in technical positions in the field of information technology I find myself desiring to move into a leadership/management position within my current field of healthcare IT.
I began the next iteration of my education journey in the spring of 2009 with Granite State College. I discovered that the program for Applied Studies: Allied Health Services was tailor made to my career. I have almost twenty-five years of technical experience but I needed to round out my business skills that are so valued in industry. This B.S. will give me the necessary business skills with a slant toward the healthcare field that I currently work in, providing a targeted learning environment for me. I began this degree program intending to provide myself and my wife “career insurance” to update and round out my skills, make me a more valuable employee and insure my future ability to provide a home and life for the both of us. That goal has morphed over the course of the past two years, sparking my interest in pursuing an advanced degree after I complete my B.S. this spring at GSC. Plymouth State offers a M.B.A. in Healthcare Administration, an ideal advanced degree for my career plans to remain in healthcare.
After spending over a decade caring for our daughter, Noelle, at home and in Boston Children’s Hospital I would never have imagined that I would be working in the healthcare field yet here I am. My education has been a struggle of work/life/family/financial balance yet we have accomplished much with the time we have had together. I dedicated my A.A.S. to my daughter, Noelle. I plan to dedicate my pending B.S. to my loving wife, Kathy, for her patient support during these past two years and God willing I will dedicate my future M.B.A. to everyone who has supported me and my family. We have a great deal of loving family and friends in our lives, some have been treated at Lahey Clinic, my employer, and at least one had his life saved at Lahey with a liver/kidney transplant. I am proud to dedicate my career to such an institution and hope that my continued education will allow me opportunities to serve in greater capacities. I plan to achieve my B.S. before I am fifty-years old. I still have between fifteen and twenty career years in front of me; I plan to contribute further to the success of Lahey Clinic’s service to our community, friends, and family. I may have started as a mediocre high-school student but I believe with time and continued commitment to the goals I set and achieve for my benefit and also for my wife I am gaining back the opportunities I missed in my youth. Two more semesters and I will have achieved this next goal while I plan yet further!
Please visit John's website to learn more about his personal accomplishments.