“…Ivy Tech made it possible for me to afford school…”
Crack! Nick Sufana hit the ball straight up the middle towards the pitching mound where his dad stood. It was the last night of summer before Nick’s freshman year in high school and it was getting dark. Nick, his dad, and his three brothers had gone out to the baseball field near their home to practice batting. A storm was rolling in, and it quickly became too dark to see. Nick’s dad suffered a detached retina and fractured orbital bone when the ball made direct content with his eye. The injuries caused him to undergo a dozen surgeries, incur several thousands of dollars in medical bills, and permanently lose part of his vision.
To help at home after the accident, Nick worked two jobs. He gave every paycheck to his parents to help alleviate some of the financial burden his family now faced. When he wasn’t working or going to class, Nick helped care for his three younger brothers.
To continue helping his family after high school, Nick needed a college that was close to home. Living in Chesterton, the Valparaiso campus was just a short 15-minute drive. Nick found that Ivy Tech’s flexible class schedule allowed him to keep working and provide support for his family. Nick also needed classes that easily transferred so he could earn his bachelor’s degree. Ivy Tech’s transferable credits meant that he could save money on his first two years of college, while still working toward a four-year degree.
“Going to Ivy Tech for the first two years made a huge impact on my family’s financial situation,” Nick said. “I had to pay for my own tuition, books, and supplies, so going to Ivy Tech made it possible for me to afford school and help my parents cover bills and groceries. That meant that they didn’t have to work so many jobs and could spend more time at home with us.”
Nick earned his technical certificate and associate degree in Criminal Justice from Ivy Tech in December 2014.
He transferred to Valparaiso University where he is currently working toward a bachelor’s degree in Sports Management with a minor in Business Administration. Nick is also a member of the Valparaiso Police Department Volunteer in Police Services (VIPS) program and was recently selected to complete the Kouts Police Department 40-hour pre-basic training program. Nick’s goals include serving his community as a member of the local police and becoming a U.S. Marshal.
Major life changes are often unexpected. Despite the responsibility Nick feels for the accident, he knew he could continue to help his family by gaining independence and setting an example for his younger brothers. Ivy Tech helped Nick take the next step toward his career. What will a degree from Ivy Tech do for you?