Throughout my entire life, my mom has always been my greatest inspiration. She works extremely hard and truly wants to help everyone around her. For International Women’s Day, I decided to ask her some questions about her journey towards the work that she does now. Along the way, I learned a few things and I hope you will too.
Q: What was the first job you remember wanting?
A: I wanted to be a teacher.
Q: What did you go to school for?
A: A few things! I went to college but I didn’t know what to do at first, so I started by pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree from Evergreen State College, where I studied Ecological Agriculture and Third World Development. After I graduated, I needed a job and started working in social services which helped me decide that I wanted to help people with disabilities become more independent, so I went back to school to become an occupational therapist (OT).
Q: What made you decide to start your own business?
A: I had a great job as an OT at a school for kids with special needs, but they laid a bunch of us off, and that “lemons to lemonade” event pushed me into starting my own private practice. Now, I’m able to focus on what’s important to me in my professional life and make my own schedule. Since I started my business, I have expanded my ability to do more hippotherapy (hippos mean horse in Greek, so hippotherapy is treating people with the help of a horse), and this specialty practice brings my patients a lot of joy as well as helps them become stronger and more coordinated.
Q: Do you have any regrets regarding school or work?
A: No, I have no regrets. I’m glad I studied plants and a lot of other things over time because sometimes I use horticulture now with patients. Plus, because of what I studied in college, I feel like I have a more expansive worldview.
Q: What is one piece of advice you would recommend to someone before starting college?
A: Take your time to consider your options! You don’t have to go to college right away, or at all for that matter. High schools seem to always put such a strong emphasis on college, but I would consider looking into trade school options and apprenticeships too. Plus, working between high school and college gives you an opportunity to figure out who you are and where your passions lie before you start borrowing money. Remember, do what’s best for you on your own time frame!