'Rocky' Style Success Story Featured in Talk by Virginia College Executive

Sep 30, 2010

John Suit talks with a reporter on Capitol Hill. John and other Virginia College graduates attended the recent National Career Day Rally in Washington, D.C.

(HUNTSVILLE, AL) A recent talk presented by Tom Moore, President and CEO of Education Corporation of America (ECA), featured a story about a Virginia College graduate who fought with heart and persistence to overcome his trouble with the law--and achieve career success.

"We're impressed with all our graduates," said Moore, "but this one reminded me of the film 'Rocky' with everything this student overcame to get where he wanted to be." The student, John Suit, graduated from the Huntsville campus of Virginia College, a system of career colleges which is owned and operated by ECA.

Moore's talk included the following excerpt.

"He was honest about his past legal troubles. He came to Virginia College in Huntsville on a work release program because he was serving time in jail on a drug felony charge. He wanted to turn his life around and hoped that our school could help him in this transformation. On the second day of class in the Network Engineering program, the instructor asked him to turn on his computer.

John Suit's response was, 'How do I do that?' He had never used a computer but wasn't going to let that stop him from being successful.

When he was released from custody he found himself in financial hardship. He was homeless for weeks at a time. But John's desire to create a better life pushed him to work harder than his classmates. His grades were near the top of his classes and, by the time he graduated with his associate's degree, John had earned every industry certification offered in his program area.

But this was only the beginning.

John was soon employed by a prominent government contractor but couldn't get a security clearance because of his felony conviction. He took another position working as a networking consultant, travelling to various locations and providing corporate training. When Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans area in 2005, John (with permission from his parole officer) joined the relief effort and helped rebuild the network infrastructure devastated by Katrina.

John's life was getting back on track, but a promise to his mother was still unfulfilled: to earn his bachelor's degree. He enrolled at a major state university, but soon discovered that it was not the right place for him. Upon reflecting on his past achievements, John realized that Virginia College was where he should be, so he moved back to Huntsville.

After earning his bachelor's degree in Virginia College's Network Management program, he went back to work--this time with the U.S. military. Because of John's personal and professional achievements, a government representative contacted Governor Bob Riley about a pardon for John. He was pardoned and, with his felony conviction set aside, was able to earn a secret security clearance. Since that time, John has worked on the designs for network infrastructure at various military bases. He is also happily married.

Can choosing the right school make someone successful? Yes-- if it's supported with a good attitude, hard work, and the right amount of desire. John Suit is proof."

Education Corporation of America provides skilled graduates for America's employers. ECA-owed schools include Virginia College, online programs of Virginia College, Golf Academy of America, Ecotech Institute, and Culinard, the Culinary Institute of Virginia