#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Christine Sandoval, 31, Denver, CO

After losing her parents to illness, a brother in the line of duty on his second day as a rookie police officer and another brother in a car accident, Sandoval considered herself something of a grief expert.

“I became an expert in planning funerals and coping with great loss – all before the age of 25,” Sandoval admitted.

Maybe it was only natural that her own loss would lead her to a career in which she could help others walk through the darkness of losing a loved one. In the process of finishing her associate’s degree in general studies at the Community College of Denver (her award will go to tuition costs there), Sandoval plans to earn a mortuary science degree at Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Colo.

“I have become more passionate than ever to earn a college degree and begin a rewarding career in mortuary science,” she said. “I feel (with this degree) I will be able to help others who, like me, have experienced great loss.”

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