Susan Russell steps towards success

Susan Russell is the mother of two girls. She readily admits she has had some challenges throughout her life. Some that were not so easy to overcome, some that were only overcome with great determination and some she considers a work in progress.

“I feel that those challenges have made me who I am today. I was raised with a rule and that rule was ‘No work, no play’. I was not so great at following that rule as a child, but in my late teenage years, I started to grasp that rule. I am now at a point that working is my relaxation.”

When she had her first daughter, she was not sure what she wanted to do with her life. However, she knew she wanted to do something that would be helpful to others.

“I have a very large, loving and open heart,” she says with a smile.

After the birth of her first child, she married someone that she really didn’t know well.

“He promised me the world, but something still did not settle right in my gut about him. I was young and thought I knew what true love was. Shortly after I wed my first husband, we split up for eleven years. I struggled to find who I was. I had a tough time holding employment and I felt like just about everywhere I was working was just another dead end job. I wanted a true career for myself where I could show my passion and love for what I do,” she said.

Before her second child was born, she figured out what she wanted to do for her career. By the time her second daughter was born, she was getting closer to what she wanted to become in life. But she never thought she would be able to attend college since money was scarce and she did not have the funding. She didn’t even have her own place and was relying on friends for a place to stay. In her words, “things just kept getting harder.”

She went back to school with the help of financial aid and during that time at school she studied to earn her GED. After attending college the first time around, she still was not able to get her feet back under her fully. She had a series of accidents, personal struggles and Susan made frequent trips to the hospital for one accident or another. She readily admits to being accident prone. She was at the hospital getting stitched up from a fall that could have been worse, when she began contemplating her path. She realized that she was always trying to help everyone around her. But also recognized that to do this she must first take steps toward helping herself.

“At that point I decided that the field that I wanted to be in was one in which I could help anyone and not just my friends and family in need.”

Four years later she decided to attend Seattle Vocational Institute (SVI). She wanted to get more knowledge about being a Medical Assistant and she wanted to make her dream of helping others come true.

During each quarter, if there was something that my older daughter wanted to learn with me, I would teach her about it, guide her through as though I were instructing a patient that would help her retain the information.

She enjoys crocheting and tending to her garden of flowers and vegetables. Susan enjoys spending time with her family, her fiancé and his family. Both of her children have inspired her to do what she needed to do to make it to where she wants to be. She credits her father with showing her that one is never too old to further their education.

“During this last year, I have gotten divorced, engaged to my high school sweetheart, had a bridal shower, helped with the planning of my aunt’s and my own upcoming weddings and prepared myself for graduating college. I would not say that this chapter of my life is closing. I must admit that this chapter is just beginning as the last year has been just the beginning of this chapter of my new life.”

Her year has been busy and rewarding. She flourished in class. She is marrying the right guy and she is graduating from the Medical Assistant program with honors. She stepped in to learn and every lesson prepared her to step out to lead. She has now completed the major educational step, that she calls step one of three, towards her steps for success.