Michael Hederick

It was the fall of 2009 that saw my high school journey quickly coming to an end with college creeping closer into sight. Despite my passion for baseball and the dreams to play professionally one day, I came to accept that baseball would likely not be become my career, and thus I started thinking about my collegiate pathway.

I went to a small, private university where I started off as an engineering major, because that is what my aptitude tests and math teacher told me I would be good at, and with a father as a computer engineer, it just seemed to be the logical decision. That was short-lived, however, as I quickly found out that engineering was not for me. Instead I found myself changing my major to Exercise Science that first semester, deciding to pursue the long journey of physical therapy.

However, it wasn’t until I graduated with my Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree and starting my first full-time job at Riverside Methodist Hospital that I really started to sit down and think about the financial ramifications of student loan debt. I was recently married and about to put us both well into 6-figure debt! I got scared, thinking we’d never be able to buy a house or help our kids go to school. It was during the six month grace period after graduation that I took it upon myself to learn about personal finance and how my wife and I could clean up this mess and not feel chained down by student loan payments for the rest of our lives.

Now I find myself working in a capacity I would never have foreseen a couple of years ago. I wish I’d had a service like College Liftoff to prepare me for college. But that is why I am here, to help others along their journey, and to help others understand the value for which they are investing, so that they can hopefully avoid the crippling mountain of debt we now find ourselves working hard to overcome. I am passionate about helping students and families responsibly navigate and use college as a resource on the path to their career.

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