Student success story Leon J. shares how ReUp coaching and making life changes helped him recover from setbacks and get back on track with his college education.

Tell us about your educational journey; where did it begin for you? 

My educational journey began a year after I graduated high school. I wanted to take a year off to experience the world, which I am glad I did. Then, in 2015, I took a few college classes, all of which I completed, but after that, some real-life issues arose. 

When did things start to become challenging?

All of a sudden, life hit me like a brick wall. I developed severe depression, and I stopped working. When my mental health started worsening, everything seemed to be going wrong. My car was hit and totaled, and I had to use all the money that I received from that just to pay for living expenses. That’s when I fully decided to leave school, thinking I would be back as soon as I could pay for transportation and hopefully be in a better place mentally.  

Why did you decide to return to school? What changed? 

A mix of therapy and changes I had made to my life helped me, and I finally started feeling better mentally. Finally, in 2021, I started feeling well enough again to do something—I just didn’t know what. So I did some soul searching and decided I wanted to be a digital 3D modeler. That’s why I’m back, and I’m very much enjoying it!

How did your Success Coach help you return to school? 

My Success Coach, who contacted me this past summer, was a big help in getting me settled back at college. They helped me with some of my financial concerns, as well as getting me in touch with my advisors. They are also helping me transfer from my first college and finding the people I needed to contact.

They made the process of getting settled easier, and I knew I could lean on them for help. I’m a big procrastinator, so having someone to listen to the things I was struggling with was beneficial. Without them, I know school-related things would have been double the effort.

My coach is extremely personable. It is clear they found the career they should be working in, which has inspired me even more to find mine.

Why did you decide to work with ReUp?

I decided to work with ReUp because of the stories on the website, and I knew that this resource would help me stay in college. I knew that now was the time to buckle up and get college done, no matter how hard that was, and that having a resource like ReUp would help me do that.

Setting up meetings or just messaging my coach was extremely easy. They messaged me regularly to remind me of meetings and even texted me when we couldn’t make a meeting.

What are your goals, hopes, and dreams? 

My goal is to become a 3D modeler, designing models on a computer for any number of things, such as video games, movies, and even car companies.

Eventually, I will graduate from college and hopefully find a job in my field. There are plenty of jobs, and I am willing to move around for them, but I hope to stay local and work for one of the many car companies in my area.

What advice do you have for students who are considering going back to school?

If you have any idea of what you want to do for a career, find out what you need to do to get there and do it. If that means going to school, don’t let fear or anxiety paralyze you. There are resources to make your life easier, and you will not be alone in your journey.