Cliff Robinson led a troubled life that took him on a path to prison and eventually homelessness. While living in a tent city, he received a bus pass and decided to take a ride. That ride would change his life.
“I had no idea where I was going,” said Robinson. When the bus stopped, Robinson followed several students off the bus and discovered he had arrived at FAPSC member school Everest University-Largo. Robinson realized he had little to lose, so he chose a new path for himself and inquired about enrolling.
It took several more visits before Robinson obtained the appropriate paperwork to be eligible to enroll, but he did not give up because he saw hope and possibility at Everest.
Once enrolled in the Medical Assisting program, Robinson proved to be a model student. He knew his path into the medical field would be difficult due to his past, but he always maintained a positive outlook and devoted himself to his studies. Robinson never once missed class and made the Dean’s List every term.
“The best thing about being at the bottom is that the only way to go is up,” he said. His attitude and smile were infectious and he became an Everest Ambassador.
In addition to being devoted to his own studies, Robinson gladly helped fellow students succeed. While his classes did not begin until 1 p.m., Robinson arrived to school daily at 9 a.m. to assist professors and tutor students. He served as an Igniter Ambassador — a student chosen for leadership potential, positive attitude and commitment to making the most of the Everest experience. Ambassadors participate in peer mentoring and peer tutoring, as well as hosting school events and fundraisers. The goal of the program is to create a peer-to-peer support system that encourages all students to grow, mature and succeed.
Today, Robinson works for a urology office in St. Petersburg, Fla., and rents a fully furnished condominium. He serves on the local professional advisory board for the medical assisting program and attends graduations and classrooms to share his story and inspire others to get on their own bus that leads to success.