Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

Ever since I was little I always wanted to help others. I remember back in pre-school whenever someone would get hurt on the playground I would run to them, pick them up, and make sure they were okay. This instinctual wanting to help others has stuck with me all throughout my adolescent and early adult life, which has made me want to pursue a career that involves making a difference in other peoples lives. I am starting graduate school for Occupational Therapy in the fall, but I currently work at an assisted living facility in order to gain experience in the geriatric field. At my work, there are occupational therapists' that work with my residents and I get to see what a difference they make in their quality of life by making them independent again after they've had a stroke or other impairing accident. I want to one day be able to make the same differences in peoples lives because it is so rewarding to see a patient become independent again. I do not want a job where I am sitting behind a computer screen where I cannot see the impact my job is making on others lives. I want to be hands-on with people every day, helping them with things that will make their lives better. Whether that is helping them learn how to write again, read, wash dishes, do laundry, or just be independent again all together. A famous quote for occupational therapists is "Turn hopeless into hope, can't into can, impossible into possible." That quote is by Valerie Pena and is a motto for many students pursuing occupational therapy as a career. I continue to be inspired every day by the occupational therapist's that come into my facility even though we are now facing the COVID-19 pandemic within my facility. I, along with all my coworkers, will continue to serve our residents during this challenging time and I believe it is only making me stronger for my future one day as an occupational therapist.

Katlyn from Virginia
Shenandoah University