Aileen Causey has spent her life taking care of those around her but when she saw a video on social media it gave her the idea to do something for herself, while still watching over her three special needs children.
The video was on Tiktok and it mentioned that many medical billing positions are now remote, allowing you to work from home. Aileen had been at home with her three children for years. Taking care of them is a full-time job that Aileen enjoys, but she wanted more financial independence for herself.
“I decided for me to better for their future and give them what they need. Their priorities are at the top,” she said. “I wanted to be more independent for them. I want them to see if Mommy can do it, I can do it too. Once you put your mind to it, you can achieve anything in life. I thought I was going to be a homemaker all my life. That was my title. Now I said no, I’m going to break that cycle and I’m going to be somebody.”
I DIDN’T LET MY NERVES TAKE OVER
Aileen’s transition back to school was not easy. She was stepping outside her comfort zone depending on her husband to care for her children for a few hours each week. Her oldest has autism, epilepsy and ADHD, while her two younger children have congestive heart failure and asthma that requires them to stay calm and not be too physically active.
“It is not easy, but I don’t show them they have a disability,” she said. “I treat them as normal as it can be. What I see and what I know is the more you baby them, they won’t come out of their shell. They are very smart. They are just different than other people.”
Aileen has experience making big changes to protect her children. She was married as a teenager and left the marriage after 10 years. Her next relationship was abusive and forced her to leave her young son while she got on her feet in a new state. In 2011, while crossing the street, she was hit by a car and lost a pregnancy. The experience gave her a new perspective on life and after years of abuse, she was ready to make changes. She made some changes in her personal life and when she saw the video on Tiktok years later, she knew it was time to make changes to her professional life.
“I was nervous, but I didn’t let my nerves take over,” she said. “I decided I’m going to do it and I’m going to take so many notes, I don’t care if my hand is hurting, I could always go back to my notes and see where I lacked the information. I have three kids to live for so that was on my mind. Who is going to take care of them? Nobody would take care of your kids the same way mom will. I had to fight it through.”
EVERYONE HAS STARS THEY NEED TO REACH
The biggest hurdle for Aileen came near the end of the program when she was asked to complete an unpaid externship. Aileen had been leaving her children for a few hours every week to attend class, but she knew she couldn’t go to work in an office. FCC staff found her an extern position that could be completed remotely.
“She completed 225 hours in record time and was offered a position for extern to hire,” said Sally Sanders, Career Services Specialist at the Pembroke Pines campus. “Her supervisor speaks very highly of her and is very pleased to have found such a conscientious employee. She is definitely the gold standard as a student, and I know she will be extremely successful, and I am so happy that I was able to be a part of her journey.”
The best part, to Aileen, is having the opportunity to work from home.
“It’s the best. It’s awesome,” she said. “Working from home is a privilege. I can stop and get back on the computer if I feel like it or wait until my husband gets home to finish it. You must have a balance in life.
“My goal was to have a title of something, a profession, a career… I challenged myself and I did it. I tell everybody it doesn’t matter; you can do it. You just have to reach for your stars. Everyone has stars they need to reach. I can’t reach them for them.”