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Big Hearts in a Small Town

At 265 miles from MSU Denver, the Blakes have never been closer to their dream careers

Ryan and Samantha Blake live 265 miles from MSU Denver but they’ve never been closer to their dream careers.

Yet it wasn’t always like that.

At first, the distance to the lives they wanted looked too distant. Their lives in Montrose, Colorado were too busy – filled with full-time jobs, kids, and yes, a distance that looked menacing, and worse, impersonal.

For the Blakes, impersonal doesn’t cut it. They sought lives of meaning, lives of giving.  Ryan’s a giver because at six months he received a liver. And Samantha will never forget the feeling she got as a teen caring for her grandfather as Alzheimer’s stole his memories.

MHA couple with their children

“This is way more than just an online program because we’ve been able to stay on track and connect with classmates and professors so that we felt like part of the team.”

The Blakes

They both landed in helping professions – education and social work. But given those early life experiences, healthcare won their hearts. They chose MHA for the education they knew they needed to not only impact more lives, but also to make lasting changes in systems. Ryan plans to oversee and improve nursing facilities and Samantha seeks to reform care and services to the incarcerated.

No doubt, aggressive career goals for career givers but it’s worked for this couple who’ve proven the adage: opposites attract. With homework and projects, Ryan is a it-was-done-a-week-ago guy, while Samantha admits she’s a get-it-done-at-the-last-minute gal. They go with what works. And it’s working: they both have 4.0 GPAs.

They’re loving the journey.

“This is way more than just an online program because we’ve been able to stay on track and connect with classmates and professors so that we felt like part of the team,” Samantha says.

They’re enjoying the ride – travels through a place where the human touch never gets lost in the technology – a place that’s erasing the distance between where they were and where they want to be.

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