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Masters Occupational Therapy, Chinese Woman

There will be other applicants with higher scores and better grades than mine mostly because I have only been in active recovery for the past year from my own psychological disorder, Bulimia. I humbly ask, however, for you to accept me into your OT Program at XXXX University because I have now completed all of the prerequisite coursework and I am also working very hard to develop have creative goals for professional service to some of the most vulnerable members of our community in San Francisco. I aspire to be a pediatric occupation therapist working with children who suffer from neurological impairments such as cerebral palsy, helping them to reach independence in as many areas of their life as possible. I also intend to continue working with the homeless, helping them to adapt to new living situations and helping those who have trouble coping.

I’ve always had a special passion for working with children, so after graduation I plan to focus my efforts on treating children who suffer with neurological impairments. I am currently working as an aide for a pediatric physical therapist who specializes in children with forms of cerebral palsy and those who have recently received botox injections or orthopedic surgeries. Because of my extensive involvement during treatment sessions and familiarity with the conditions of the young patients, I became a regular babysitter for a couple of families who have children with a form of cerebral palsy. Duties include but are not limited to feeding, diaper changing, bathroom assisting etc. While babysitting is not generally thought of as a highly professional activity, in my case this experience is especially relevant since it is with this population, children with cerebral palsy that I feel most attracted to working with professionally. I have read that a mere 26% of people look forward to going to their daily jobs, so I am very fortunate to have discovered a profession that can put me into this elite group of contented people. My work experience has helped me to understand what I most value in life and how a career in occupational therapy meets my goals.

After graduating from XXXX University with a BS in physiology in August of 2010, I continued to acquire clinical experience as a physical therapy aide, exploring my alternatives, and soon focusing on OT as the field to which I feel the strongest calling. I always knew there was an overlap between PT and OT, but what intrigued me most about OT was the fact that not only does it focus on the patient's physical challenges, but also addresses cognitive impairments in an integral fashion. I am currently volunteering at a skilled nursing facility as well as XXXX Hospital (inpatient setting) in the rehabilitation department, working closely with both PTs and OTs who collaborate in the treatment of patients. This Spring, 2014, I completed all the prerequisite courses required to enter your distinguished Master’s Program in OT.

Growing up in San Francisco, I became accustomed to walking by homeless people living on the streets on a daily basis and I have been curious about them since I was a small child. I have one especially vivid memory of a day when I was about 6 years old and my mom handed me a dollar bill to put in the hands of a homeless woman sitting outside a KFC only a few blocks from where we lived. Gazing up at me with kind eyes, the woman responded, “God bless you, my child.” I remember feeling very moved and it pleased me that despite her unfortunate circumstances she had God in her heart. That day, I vowed to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate.

The past few months I’ve been involved with San Francisco City Impact, a charitable non-profit organization serving the Tenderloin district, an area known for its high crime and poverty rates. As a volunteer in the Health and Wellness Center, I was able to witness and help patients walking into our clinic directly from off the streets—both spiritually and emotionally broken. The pain and despair is evident in the patients’ eyes as well as general appearance, which inspires an enormous effort on the part of healthcare professionals and  volunteers alike who seek not only to address the patients’ physical and psychological health, but also their emotional and spiritual needs. This position, in particular, is helping me to really feel like an integral part of my community. We have a food bank, kitchen, and I find that our mission to feed, uplift, and care for those in need works quite nicely along with spreading the news of the healing power of Jesus. As a future occupational therapist, I intend to put my put my new training to immediate use as a volunteer in a clinic that brings both health and hope, helping the Tenderloin residents to make constructive adaptations that enrich their lives through community participation.

What impresses me most about OT is what I see as the enormous value that this profession has for society. I appreciate how the field is extremely client-centered with patient/client initiative playing a vital role in the success of the treatment process. The main reason why I want to become an occupational therapist is because I would like to promote health and help individuals achieve more productive and satisfying lives. Part of my intense motivation lies in the fact that for more than a third of my life I was living a very unhealthy and destructive lifestyle myself. I came to realize that I would not be able to help others whole-heartedly if I were still struggling with my own health issues.

A young, bilingual Chinese-American woman, still only 27, you have already helped me to heal and to discover my destiny. Since one of the prerequisites of your program is an art class, my world lit up like a pinball machine when I enrolled in Chinese paint brushing. This class provided me with the direction that I needed to control my own ailment, and to find a great sense of purpose and joy in my activity, staying busy and enhancing my dignity through creation. I also found myself in a psychology course that focused on eating, food, and weight. Led by a psychotherapist who specialized in eating disorders, I was able to come to understand the destructive nature of my relationship with food. This class provided me with the tools that I needed to control my ailment through meditation and mindful eating which I now practice on a regular basis.

As a future occupational therapist, I hope to better serve my community by helping some of its most vulnerable members to achieve a higher quality of life in body, mind, and spirit, empowering them to have more confidence in their skills and abilities. I thank you for considering my application to your distinguished program at XXXX University.

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