Student Spotlight: Cheri Schumann

CPS - Cheri SchumannUsing Her Firsthand Experience to Help Others Live Clean and Sober

The specific moment Cheri decided to attend Kaplan University was when she was cleaning her house. She was daydreaming about what she wanted to do with her life. While Cheri liked her job in sales and marketing, she didn’t feel passionate about going to work every day. Just then, a commercial came on for Kaplan University and talked about the psychology degree offered. Cheri picked up the phone and called, “and my life has never been the same,” she says.

“In the back of my mind, ever since I became sober 16 years ago, my ultimate dream was to become a substance abuse counselor to help people struggling with addiction. People just like me,” Cheri said. But for a long time, Cheri felt too close to the field to ever think she could actually be in it herself. She needed time to separate from her own experience to develop the confidence necessary to help others. “In the meantime, over the years I took several courses, both in a traditional classroom and online. I started off thinking I wanted a degree in business, and then I then dabbled in interior design. I took some art courses. But I was floundering, not going after a set goal. I just couldn’t figure it out. I never got a degree.”

When she called and talked to Kaplan University, she knew that she found the right fit. “After I spoke with the Admissions Advisor, I knew it was the college for me,” she said. “He actually took the time to talk me through it—to make sure that the psychology and substance abuse degree, and even college in general, were the right fit for me. He didn’t want me to just take some classes. He wanted me to graduate. He wanted me to find a job in the field. He wanted me to be happy and successful.” Nobody at any of her previous universities took the time to talk with Cheri like that. “When you hear about the ‘Kaplan University experience’ it really is true. You’re not just taking classes. You’re there to experience the experience, and you’re not just phoning it in,” Cheri said.

Cheri found the true psychology courses to be her favorites. “I struggled a bit with Biology and Statistics, but I really blame that on myself. I should have used the resources that Kaplan University provides, such as the Labs,” she said. The online format was a great fit for Cheri, as it gave her the flexibility she desired because she travels extensively and loves to ski. “The program is amazing for anyone who does not stay in one place for very long,” she said. Cheri also found her professors to be very engaging and was quite impressed with their background in the courses.

Cheri was motivated and doing well—until life threw her a curveball when her husband passed away during routine knee surgery. She was devastated and in shock but  leaned on her own counselor and stayed strong and on track. She knew if she could get through this horrible experience that some day she would indeed be a good counselor herself. “It took every ounce of willpower that I could muster, but I came out of it OK,” Cheri says.

Not too long afterward, Cheri bonded with another man who was also in recovery, and they eventually got married. “We wouldn’t be together if we hadn’t cleaned up our act,” she says. “I can inspire others to do the same, and to have the life they never thought was possible!” The following day after she earned her degree, Cheri went on an interview at Gate Lodge, part of Hanley Recovery Centers, the largest treatment center in the country. She now works the night shift as a residential manager, holding 10-step groups supporting the addicts in need.

“Overall, my experience was amazing and I would highly recommend Kaplan University to anyone who has a goal of achieving a top-notch degree.”

This testimonial was solicited by Kaplan University. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individual; student experiences may vary.

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