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Jeanette Bradley

Jeanette Bradley credits Columbus State with helping her help others who suffered like she once did.

After years of abuse and violence, Bradley, 58, says she ended up homeless and with substance abuse problems in the late 80s and early 90s. She was even a victim of human trafficking.

"But God saved my life and saw fit to give me a second chance," Bradley says.

Bradley went to school for Medical Assisting, and worked in an internal medicine office for three years. She even started a street ministry called 2nd Chance to help the homeless, prostitutes, the poor and anyone else who needs a hand. But she felt the need to do more.

"God began prompting me to go back to school in the mental health/chemical dependency field. I could hardly believe it, because I had zero money. But I stepped out in faith, and came to Columbus State and got myself enrolled in September 2009."

Bradley got a lot of help from the TRIO program, a group of programs that aid low-income or first-generation college students. She applied for so many scholarships she was able to pay down some of her previous college loans.

She graduated with honors – Magna Cum Laude – and she plans to start work at a local mental health agency.

Columbus State's Mental Health/Addiction Studies/Developmental Disabilities program offers degrees in certificates in those three fields. Graduates can work as a Social Work Assistant, Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor II, or apply their degree toward a four-year degree at another college.