My father, Chuck Hayden told me one of the best roads to travel was the road of higher education. My Dad knew what he was talking about as he served for 29 years on the College of the Desert Board of Trustees. His wisdom, my hard work and what I learned at the College has not failed me. I went back to school as a non-traditional student in my early thirties as a recovering drug addict. I spent my twenties addicted to meth and completely hopeless. After my son's mother died, my parents took him and me into their home as I started on a road to recovery. This recovery included going back to school. I started at COD in the certificate program to become a substance abuse counselor. I did very well in those studies, finished, and took a job following at a local substance abuse rehab. However, I longed to continue my education. After a few years, I returned to COD and started a general credits program. My aim was towards transferring to a four year university. The COD career and education counselors, along with my parents and son, kept me on track and in a few short years I was headed to U.C. Riverside where I graduated with a BA in Political Science. From there I went to law school in Denver Colorado, passed the bar and am now practicing law as the Chief Deputy District Attorney for my small bit of heaven, La Junta, Colorado.