Born in Plattsburg, NY, as the second youngest child of nine siblings, Curtis Baucham was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder at an early age. Known as the black sheep of the family, his diagnosis and poor choices gradually led Mr. Baucham to a self-destructive lifestyle of alcohol and drug abuse.
In 2002, after attending therapy sessions and support groups, Mr. Baucham took a giant leap and chose to become drug and alcohol free. At the age of 40, unfortunately, Mr. Baucham realized how much time had passed. He felt unaccomplished, inadequate and angry at himself for the opportunities he had let pass him by. He had defined himself based on what he couldn't do and what he hadn't achieved in his life. Several years went by and Mr. Baucham found it difficult to overcome his lack of confidence and the reputation he had built in the past.
Mr. Baucham had previous training as a certified nursing assistant, and in 2007, he decided to explore continuing his medical training. He spoke with Charles McCain, in the admissions department and learned about the opportunity to train as a medical assistant. Mr. Baucham explained he was scared saying, "I hadn't picked up a book since 1980." Forty-five years old and afraid of failure, Mr. Baucham wanted to attempt to turn his life around and improve his lot in life. His first day of class, his stepfather died and thirteen days later his aunt died. "We were very close. She was a role model for me because she was a registered nurse." Mr. Baucham waivered on whether or not to continue, but he remember the card in his wallet that she had given him in 1997. It read, "Believe in yourself." This, combined with a promise he gave to his mother just before her death in 2005, pushed Mr. Baucham to return to class.
Both classmates and instructors recall Mr. Baucham as distanced and someone who has found himself involved in unnecessary drama in the classroom. Mr. Baucham recalls being 45 years old and feeling pressured and nervous that he had to compete with students 20 years younger. "When I started the program, I didn't like me." After several stern messages and pointed conversations from the faculty and staff of Laurus, Mr. Baucham did some soul searching. He decided it was time to go against his previous failures and risk applying himself. Several months later, after faithfully attending daily tutoring sessions, Mr. Baucham was nominated as the "Most Improved Student."
Today, Mr. Baucham walks down the halls a respectable man dressed in professional attire and walking with a confident air. Instructors and faculty alike are rather amazed at his transformation. Mr. Baucham, a Hebrew Israelite, prayed that he would maintain a 95% grade point average throughout his training. And he has. He credits his classmate, Brittany O'Neil, playing a major role in his turn around. He thanks his classmates for tolerating him and helping him to become a better person. Proud of his personal growth, Mr. Baucham begins a volunteer position at Georgia Regional Hospital.