Recruiting students from across the U.S., Campus is the new alternative to online community college. We’re on a mission to maximize access to a world-class education to set students up for success no matter what their next step is. Read on to learn about our students’ unique experiences.
Deva Ramireddy, a student in Campus’s online associate in business program, never anticipated the twists and turns his trip would take. While enjoying some quality time in Costa Rica, the memorable trip took a challenging detour when a sudden accident changed the course of his life.
Join us as we share Deva's inspiring story, which shares the challenges he has faced and highlights the strength and never-give-up spirit he exhibits in both his healing journey and his higher education pathway.
From Injury to Inspiring Recovery
At the start of Deva’s college adventure, he and his close-knit group of friends, including his younger sister, decided to take a trip to La Fortuna, Costa Rica. They all shared some great times and made many great memories, yet while trying to get a camera to capture these moments, Deva accidentally sprinted through an invisible glass patio door sustaining serious injuries, including a cut to his femoral artery and quadriceps.
“At the time, I didn't really realize how severe the injury was,” Deva noted.
“My initial thought was like, okay, I'm injured. Paramedics are going to get here soon. They're going to patch me up. One week later, I'll be back in classes. In fact, I was like, I had a paper due that following Monday and I was like, great, maybe I get an extension on my paper!”
Unfortunately, that wouldn’t be the case for Deva. After over an hour and a half of waiting for treatment, the severity of the situation became all too real. While Deva’s life was saved by some of the incredible doctors in Costa Rica, the road to recovery was much longer than he had ever anticipated.
“I did not think that I would be in a coma for a week and then I'd be hospitalized for months on end,” Deva shared with us. “That came with the realization that all these plans and ambitions I had for my life were on hold while I was lying there in the hospital bed.”
From the time he spent in the hospital in Costa Rica to being airlifted to a hospital in Chicago, Deva spent several months visiting countless specialists to address the initial injury and the nerve damage that left his right leg paralyzed.
With only a short six-month window for medical professionals to be able to address the damage to his peripheral nerve, Deva and his family started working as quickly as possible to book appointments and schedule surgeries.
“Fortunately, we had a great network,” Deva noted.
“We had help. We got those appointments sped up, got a great surgeon at Northwestern, and he was able to move stuff around. I was able to get these surgeries, like a nerve decompression surgery that gave me some, mobility back to my legs so I can now walk.”
With every step Deva takes, the light at the end of his challenging medical journey grows a bit brighter. Although he's overcome nerve damage in his right leg, he still has a few hurdles ahead, including an upcoming quadratic reconstruction surgery.
But when we sat down with him, his spirit was infectious; he's full of hope and eagerly looks forward to focusing on rebuilding his physical strength soon.
“Prior to the injury, I was prepping for a marathon,” Deva mentioned. “ I would say I was in great physical shape, but one of the other big things with my injury is that while I’ve been in a hospital for months, I think I’ve lost 20 pounds and all my muscles. I like to stay fit, and I want to rebuild my body even if it takes years.”
Pushing Through Recovery with Remote Education
Fitness was not the only goal Deva was focused on tackling. He also wanted to make the most of his time between medical operations and treatments, and immediately started making plans to work on goals that would ultimately contribute to his future career path.
While he shared that his physical recovery has been top-of-mind, Deva also realized that he would be spending a lot of time in the hospital, lying in bed, and waiting while he recovered.
“All of these things had mentally challenging effects on me, and so it was like, ‘what do I do now?’” Deva told us. “There's not much I can do anymore…I'm grateful for where I am now, but in that moment in time it's like I don't have many options.”
Not to be deterred, Deva’s exceptional drive led him to start looking into what his options would be as he was recuperating. He ultimately decided that going remote would be the best fit for his situation because of his physical condition, but wasn’t quite sure what option would make the most sense for him and his family.
“I looked into remote jobs, online jobs, and other options because I had to do something,” Deva said. “Otherwise, I'm just gonna be this very dependent person on my family, and I appreciate them for being supportive, but it's also not exactly how I envision my future.”
In the end, he determined that going back to school to complete his college studies would let him gain the skills he would need in his future line of work, and would give him the flexibility he needed to accommodate his medical needs.
“At that point, I was open to anything,” Deva shared. “So I looked up online programs, and Campus just seemed a little too good to be true.”
Finding Opportunities for Growth with Campus
According to Deva,, it was his heartwarming conversation with our dedicated admissions team that truly sealed the deal. Despite missing the initial Winter 2023 cohort deadline, his determination shone through. Excited to enroll in the Campus Scholars program for the spring, Deva was all in, eager to fully embrace the program's offerings.
“In my head, I was like, ‘I'm going to focus on my recovery and I want to get this degree within a year,’” Deva stated.
“Campus helped me work out a plan where I could take online classes from my local community college and I take online classes from Campus as well so I can actually finish this degree within a year, maybe a year and a quarter, which is pretty cool.”
Once Deva connected with the admissions team and explained his medical circumstances, together they crafted a tailored education plan that would help Deva meet his ambitious goals. Reflecting on the process, Deva pointed out to us that the unwavering support and guidance from the Campus staff have been instrumental in helping him navigate his path forward.
“A lot of people at Campus have helped me stick to this plan to graduate earlier,” Deva shared. “Now, I get to graduate early from Campus, earn my associate, and I can transfer to a four-year, and then presumably lead a very normal life. Everything I thought I once lost, Campus has helped me believe that I can get back again.”
On Starting the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Society
Deva's journey at Campus isn’t just about his academic route; it's about the uplifting energy he brings every day.
From day one, Deva noted that his experience with taking classes online with Campus was different not just because it was a new way of taking classes, but because he would see that he wasn’t alone in his ambitions for the future.
“My classmates also are really passionate,” Deva shared with us. “I feel like that the classroom environment with Campus is slightly different from my past programs because everyone is invested in doing this with their own time, and they know the value that they're getting.”
With a background in investing and entrepreneurship even before enrolling in the Campus online business program, he sought to create an online student-led organization: the Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Society.
By giving other students like himself the opportunity to connect with their classmates to create a lively community of budding entrepreneurs, Deva believes that it could be a pivotal first step for students to start creating their professional networks.
“That’s also why I started an entrepreneurship club,” Deva explained. “Everyone is networking. So it's like this entrepreneurship club gives me a chance to expose myself to other entrepreneurs and hopefully that starts a chain reaction where I'm just interviewing entrepreneur after entrepreneur.”
It's clear to see: Deva's not only paving his own path, but he's also lighting the way for others to connect with each other for support and advice for their own future business ventures.
What’s more, because of the skills that he’s learning in Campus’s online associate in business program, Deva believes that by taking this first step in creating a natural network for students, he’s able to give back to an online program that has been pivotal to his success.
“Campus provides a platform and the skills and tools I need and I can build off of that,” Deva shared. “So me giving back to Campus by running this club, which provides so much value to other students and to me, it’s something I enjoy doing.”
Learn More About the Campus Experience
If Deva’s story resonates with you, or his words about Campus have caught your attention, be sure to check out the Campus online associate degree in business program or request more info here.
You can join inspiring students just like Deva by applying to become a Campus Scholar today!