Valentine’s Day can be the perfect time to show a little extra love for whatever we consider special in our lives.
But sometimes you don’t need a holiday to tell the world what’s close to your heart.
For the past 10 years, Heidi has shared her passion for Climb Wyoming with anyone who will listen. Whether in a speech at the State Capital or to small groups of Climb donors, she loves to talk about the journey that she says changed her life.
Her son was 4 when she moved to Wyoming in 2008. “I had no one out here,” Heidi recalls. “It was a really hard time in my life. I was waitressing and on state assistance.”
When Heidi started Climb, she said it was “the first time I had ever sat down and talked through things with anybody. It was a good time for me to heal.”
Heidi’s Climb job placement led her into insurance but that, she says, just wasn’t driving her. She wanted something more hands-on.
The stability of this first career gave Heidi the launching pad she needed. Three years ago, she took a big leap and started a Health Science associate’s degree at Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne.
She then applied for one of the college’s most competitive programs: diagnostic medical sonography. Heidi has maintained a 3.67 GPA and is on track to graduate in 2019 following a year of clinicals. Annual salaries in the sonography professional can reach $80,000.
As Heidi has worked tirelessly toward this major life goal, she says she has always kept Climb close to heart. “Climb was there when I felt like I had nobody else,” she says. In addition to serving as a spokesperson for Climb, Heidi is now giving back to Climb in another way, too.
She has arranged for Climb to receive proceeds from a charitable event organized by her industry’s professional association. “When I saw how much was given to me, I wanted to give back. It’s the trickling effect of whatever you get, you give.”
“I could have been a waitress all my life,” Heidi says. “It’s been quite a journey, and without Climb, I may not have pushed myself to do the things I needed to do, to better myself. Nobody’s getting in my way now.”