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

Throughout my life, education has always offered me hope for a more fulfilling future. Not everyone is meant to follow the most traveled path to success. I am nearly 40 and only now know the way. In high school, I had no ideas about what I wanted to do, or who I wanted to become. I was guided by sifting through the opportunities life offered me until I found one that fit, and I tried every mismatch first. I tried jobs in in-home caregiving, warehousing, inventory control, and purchasing-merchandising. Each year I spent working for someone else left me wanting more self-efficacy and control over my future. While working an office job, I put myself through massage therapy school. With work at a major massage franchise, my future came in to focus. Every patient I saw had a specific goal, and through the skills I learned, I could help them. I became obsessed with being the best massage therapist and helping everyone I could. Continuing Education opened new doors and added skills and tools; I certified in Precision Neuromuscular Therapy, Advanced Myoskeletal Alignment Technique, and other clinical modalities. In January of 2012, after months of preparation, I opened my own business called Valence Massage. At Valence (which means “the ability of one to affect another through a function”) I built my clinical massage practice. A few months later, my wife and I found out she was pregnant and we were going to have a daughter. I knew I needed a more stable income to support my growing family, so, between clients, I researched programs for getting a college degree in massage. The programs were hard to find and sketchy at best. To take my business to the next level, I needed to grow it in a new direction. I applied for Pre-physical Therapy at Missouri State University, and ended up graduating Magna Cum Laude with my Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Movement Science. The next step, my doctorate in Physical Therapy!

Jon from Missouri
Missouri State University