Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology
Mt. Braddock Campus | 724.437.4600
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Student Highlight – Tracey Axton

TraceyIn 1987, after graduating high school, Tracey attended the Uniontown Beauty Academy where she became a licensed beautician. Before long she was married to her high school sweetheart and had welcomed her first child. For the next five years she would remain a stay at home mom. When her daughter started kindergarten, she re-entered the workforce and for the next two decades worked in various food service jobs. These jobs were physically demanding and began to take a toll on her body.  Each day left Tracey more exhausted, run down, and unfulfilled. She was becoming full of regret with each passing day, wishing she had a career, not just a job. She had reached her mid-forties and with her two children grown, she talked with her husband and told him that she wanted to go back to school and pursue getting a degree in the medical field. Tracey toured large universities and the community college in the area. Tracey states “I felt very overwhelmed when I visited these colleges, feeling I would be an older student up against all these bright young people fresh out of high school and just lost in the shuffle scared me. I decided to search online for a smaller school environment and that is when I discovered Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology.” She called the school and talked with a staff member to set up a tour and to see what they could offer her. She was very happy when she learned she could earn a degree in the medical field in only eighteen months, and that they offered small class sizes with students of various ages and backgrounds. She States that “I had found the perfect fit.”

The school offers various programs in the medical field, but Tracey chose the Medical Office Assistant program because she wanted to work within a medical office environment that would enable her to work with and help people, but would not be physically demanding of her. She said “I have gained so much knowledge within this program and feel confident that when I graduate I will be able to gain employment where I will have a life long career doing something I love.”

While attending school here Tracey developed many relationships with the wonderful students and faculty. She joined the schools Activities Club, and participated in various fundraisers they had. Tracey stated that “I love that PIHT helps the community with these worthwhile causes and I can be a part of it.” Coming to class and being asked her input on schoolwork or for advice on a personal matter by fellow students makes her glad that she chose to follow her dreams. Tracey states “finally I am getting fulfillment in my life.”

Tracey would not have been able to follow her dreams of going back to school without the support of her wonderful husband who is her rock.  They have been married for 25 years. He has always supported her in everything she does. Tracey quotes “I cannot shine like a diamond without his sparkle.” He works long hours to meet the needs of their family and purchased her a new vehicle so she would have safe transportation to school and her externship.  She states that “He sacrifices many hot meals through the week so I can study for tests to make sure I get good grades.  I can say I am very blessed that he chose me to be his wife.”

She is coming to the end of her schooling and has so many people to thank for being there to help and guide her. First, she sends a thank you to her family, (husband, children, and my mother, for their sacrifices daily to enable her to pursue her education. Secondly, she sends a thank you to all of her fellow classmates that shared laughter, and were there to help her study and give her support. She said “I will miss all of you and this chapter in my life when it ends in a few short weeks.”  Lastly, she sends a big thank you to all of her wonderful instructors. Every one of them has taken time to offer their help whenever she had questions or concerns about school work. She states in closing, “My instructors have taught me to be confident, a leader, a public speaker, a teacher, and a person that people can look to as a positive role model. I can never thank them enough for helping me to succeed and be standing here at the end of this journey. I love all of you!”