CollegeAmerica Denver Graduate Finds Her Passion in Healthcare

By Manda Perkins Published on May 24, 2017

DENVER—For some people, working in the healthcare field is more than a job—it’s a calling. According to Carolyn Sestak, it’s where she was meant to be, and having an associate’s degree in nursing from CollegeAmerica helped her get there.

Sestak was a single mother of three children and working part-time when she decided to go back to school in 2014. Now she is among the 100 graduates participating in the CollegeAmerica Denver campus commencement ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on June 2, 2017, at the George Washington High School auditorium.

“I was not making enough money overall to support my kids,” Sestak said. “I knew I needed to figure out how to provide for my family, and I needed to do something that spoke to me and wasn’t just a job.”

Returning to school wasn’t without its challenges. Sestak said she felt uncomfortable at first, feeling out of place as a middle-aged college student. But within a few weeks she found a community among her cohort and instructors, who became close friends and confidants.

“There was not one particular instructor as much as there were a handful of instructors and administrators that made such a big difference,” she said. “They are with you all the way, checking on you, encouraging you, and making you feel like you really can do it. You never feel like just a number— everyone knows your name. You become family.”

An important life lesson Sestak said she learned during her degree program is that no matter where you are in life, challenges will arise, and one has to make the important personal decision about how they will move forward.

“Challenges will be there throughout your life, so you can let them define you or you can keep your eyes on the end game,” she said. “The whole point [of going back to school] is not to end up where you were before. Honestly, I think people forget that. Quitting doesn’t get you where you want to be.”

Having earned an associate’s degree, Sestak is planning to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. From there, she’s considering pursuing a master’s degree, as she would like to teach one day. Today, she works as a floor nurse at the Cherrelyn Healthcare Center and is in the process of a promotion to a supervisory role.

“It’s nice not going to a job,” she said. “I’m doing what I love, and that makes a big difference.”

For more information about the CollegeAmerica Denver campus, visit


"I'm doing what I love, and that makes a big difference."
Carolyn Sestak
CollegeAmerica Graduate

About CollegeAmerica

CollegeAmerica provides career-focused higher education to students in Arizona and Colorado. Offering degree programs in healthcare, business, and technology, CollegeAmerica is committed to preparing professionals for meaningful careers. For more information, visit CollegeAmerica is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC) and admits students of any race, color and national or ethnic origin.