My own struggles made me realize that the education system is stacked against you.

“In 6 months, I’ll have my doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy (OT). I’m interested in rehabilitation for people who have suffered a traumatic brain injury or stroke. I‘m a big rooter for the underdog and appreciate that people need different things. OT is all about adaptation, independence, and facilitating ways for an individual to adapt to everyday life in positive ways.

My own struggles made me realize that the education system is stacked against you. If you receive services, you don’t feel smart. It’s easy to be cast aside into classrooms where the standard is so low that you are not being challenged at your level of intellect. I understand why it’s necessary to take kids out of the class for reading, but I found the constant removal was always separating me from my friends. Even in 3rd grade I was in a different English class from my friends, but then we were together for everything else. You would think that it shouldn’t matter, but it definitely did.

Dyslexia has always affected everything in my life. It takes me longer to do things. Reading is exhausting. It makes me not want to do it. It feeds procrastination. When I read, I fall asleep. But I have a philosophy for education: Never stop learning…no matter how unmotivated you feel, you just need to do something, even if it’s only taking two classes a semester. Then you are keeping your brain active.

I’m a good self advocate. If you don’t ask, you will never know. I use and make very deliberate choices for selecting classes. I base my class selections on who is the teacher over what is the scheduled time for the class. If I have a positive teacher who is understanding, then I’m going to be successful.

Everyone has their own path. What works for one person might not work for others. My mom helped me figure out what I wanted to study in college. I had taken a career test and it came back with 3 things: Lawyer, Bartender, or OT. I don’t like reading and hate sitting at a desk, so I didn’t want to be a lawyer. At the time, I didn’t know what OT was. I thought they were all funny suggestions. But now I realize OT is a field that represents my whole life. But maybe one day, I’ll be a bartender too!"