Hometown: Marion, MI
Major: Integrative Studies and Psychology
My road to earning a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree began over twenty years ago. There has been many twists and turns as well as some delays and detours. When the time came for me to once again embark on the road to achieving my goal, I chose Ferris State University (FSU) as the place to launch from. I made the decision for FSU to be the conduit to advancing me along my road for several reasons. One of those reasons is that FSU’s curriculum and course offerings are widely accepted by many graduate schools which provided me with the ability to achieve all of my needed prerequisites with confidence. The admissions department at FSU was also able to work with my atypical life situation and team me up with advisors that would help me design a plan that would work best for me. It was obvious from the first time I contacted FSU expressing my interest in attending this university that the university as a whole is focused on providing for the individual needs of their students and helping us to succeed. I have been supported and encouraged by my many professors and advisors throughout my experience at FSU. FSU has an excellent reputation for preparing their students for their futures which is why earning my degree at FSU gives me confidence as I continue to progress on my road toward achieving a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
What does being First-Gen mean to you?
I am a First Gen student, what this means to me is that I am strong. No members of my family before my generation have attended college. I had to take a huge step out from everything I was familiar with and step beyond everything my parents and grandparents were familiar with. Being a First Gen student means that I am learning and achieving everything for the first time without a support network to give me advise or guidance. It is like walking through the forest in the dark. You know there will be obstacles, you know the ground is going to be uneven, you know that it will be difficult. You keep moving slowly and cautiously forward. You have no idea of what is coming next or how to prepare for it, and you have no light to help you. So, you are wondering, searching, hoping you are headed in the right direction with your arms stretched out to avoid walking into trees or stumbling. The steps you take are slow and insecure. You continue on in the faith that you will get to the end successfully and that it will have been worth it all. I am proud that I will be able to say that I have achieved this accomplishment despite the many challenges I have faced.
The First Generation RSO at FSU has been like a flashlight in that dark forest. Being a member of the First Gen RSO has meant so much to me. Coming from a family in which neither parent attended college left me with a lot of insecurities and self-doubt when making decisions about my future. As a new college student, I rarely knew what to expect or what I was supposed to be doing to prepare myself for the next step or advancement through college. I had no awareness of how to apply for scholarships or financial assistance and grants. I did not even know what to ask for because I did not know what was available. It is hard to ask the right questions when you do not know what it is that you do not know. I often felt like I was constantly missing opportunities and important details that seemed to be common sense for other college students. I was frequently embarrassed to speak up and ask for information about services or opportunities that were available to me because I felt like I would be thought of as ignorant for not knowing what everyone else seemed to know. Being part of the First Gen RSO has allowed me to feel normal about the questions I have had. It has also helped me to realize just how many students there are struggling with similar insecurities and not fully knowing what they should be doing or what opportunities are available to them. As a member of the First Gen RSO I feel empowered and confident. I am also encouraged and motivated to reach out to other students and potential students that may be experiencing the same overwhelming decisions without adequate support from their families and communities.
"Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things.... I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air." - I Cor. 9:24-26