René Brooks

René Brooks

Insurance Appeals Representative/Blogger

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life has taken me all over.
I wasn't a great student in high school; I did well in the humanities, but math is my arch-nemesis.
Keeping my hands busy and crocheting during class was the one thing that helped me focus.
Even though I struggled and hated school, NOT going to college was NOT an option in my family.
I almost completed an English degree at Penn State but I dropped out with 33 credits left to finish.
I hadn't yet been diagnosed with ADHD, but looking back, I know that's why I could finish my degree.
I had a stint where I sold vacuums door-to-door, and a brief stint in retail, but I hated both jobs.
I went to a temp agency and found a great job, but my attention issues made me take a medical leave.
I was diagnosed with ADHD at 25; my medication, my ADHD coach, and therapy improved my life.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
Career

Career

Insurance Appeals Representative/Blogger

When a provider wants to correct their claim process, I go in, review their request, and rule on it.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Writing
Writing
Medicine
Medicine
Helping People
Helping People

Day to Day

I work at a government building and we have to protect medical information, so it'd be hard for a student to shadow me there! But if they shadowed me while I was blogging, they'd see me forming an idea, sketching an outline, taking the accompanying pictures, and then sitting down and writing my posts. Once an article is done, I'll make sure to go promote it on social media and in the groups I'm involved in. My blog is great because it gives me the freedom to write on anything that interests me.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

With my job, I got a lot of my experience by starting out in the call center. When you start in customer service, you really get to see everything that's going on within the company, and then you have the touch point and knowledge to go work in any area within that business. At home and at work, I always make sure to use a timer, because when I'm working on something I'm interested in, my ADHD will give me time blindness, and that can make two hours fly by like it's nothing.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

Take all of the language and writing courses that are available to you, starting in high school. My grasp on communication and the English language has obviously been valuable as a blogger (knowing how to research and cite sources, analyzing other articles, etc.) but it's also valuable to just about any job! You can get trained for almost any job, including my job in the health care field, but if you don't have a good grasp on the English language early on, it's hard to learn that later in life.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

undergrad
Bachelor
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Family:

"You need to go to college and complete a degree. You don't have a problem. You don't need to take medication for your ADHD."

My family insisted that I go to college, but I realized I was paying just to feel inadequate and resentful towards my professors, so I left school. Everyone thought I'd get nowhere without a degree, but hey, I've done just fine! Then, later, when I got my ADHD diagnosis, my family was skeptical. They were nervous about me taking medication and in denial that I had a learning issue. But you shouldn't have to ask for permission to take care of yourself; you just need to find your support system!

Challenges I Overcame

Struggles in School
Struggles in School

I had some teachers say some horrible things to me as a child because they didn't know how to deal with my attention issues. Back then, kids were just starting to be diagnosed with some frequency, but so many people thought it was a made-up disorder!

Learning Issues
Learning Issues

At one point, I had to take a leave of absence from my job-I couldn't focus, I couldn't get anywhere on time, I was depressed. I was 25 when a friend told me I should go get an evaluation for ADHD; my diagnosis and medication revolutionized my life.