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Back To School at 49

Change is often unforeseen but a constant in life. Overcoming obstacles to succeed in the wake of change can lead to great rewards if approached with determination and strength. Such is the case for Tricia Gilbert, a current RRCC business student.

In 2001, Tricia Gilbert was involved in a major car accident during which she suffered a serious head injury and lost the use of her left leg. Due to the nature and severity of her injuries, doctors told Tricia that she would never find work again. Hearing those words, Tricia was more determined than ever to prove her doctors wrong. After back surgery and a period of intense physical therapy, she regained the use of her leg and secured a job as a 911 Dispatcher.  When the Department of Homeland Security released a memo stating that their dispatch service might be discontinued after 10 years, Tricia took charge of her future and decided to go back to school.

With a desire to work in customer service, and memories of how much she enjoyed the process of buying her home, Tricia contacted the RRCC Business department and enrolled in the Real Estate program. It had been years since she had taken any college courses, and Tricia wondered if she could succeed despite her head injury. With a little help from the RRCC Office of Disability Services and faculty member Wendy Bird, she successfully completed her first semester while working full-time.  In September 2010, Tricia left the Department of Homeland Security altogether and committed fully to working in the real estate industry.

Tricia has worked for Modern Real Estate since that time; in her first year, she closed on six deals, which accounted for a total of over $1 million in sales.  Tricia says she is on track for another big year: “I will continue to meet new people, embrace my team of agents who provide me with valuable information, continue to train, and provide the best customer service I can to any client who wants to buy a home or sell their existing home.” 

Tricia plans to graduate from RRCC with her Business Real Estate degree in May 2013, and says that she has met some amazing students and instructors along the way who have impacted her choice of career. “I know that this is the final path for me and that anything can be accomplished no matter what your age.  You see, I was 49 when I decided to go back to school!"

Tim Johnson
After attending the RRCC business program to become a real estate broker,
Tricia completed $1 million dollars in sales her first year.