Hi Jason, thanks for joining us on the blog. To start, what's it like being a student in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Green River?
Jason: Being in the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Green River Community College is hands down the best opportunity I have had for not only me, but my family as well. The instructors and students are both hard-working and friendly. It is a good thing to be striving for success along with others that want the same for themselves.
Can you tell us the story of how you decided to pursue a degree in this field of study?
Jason: I would say that before I decided to pursue this field of study, I was first given an opportunity that was bittersweet. I say this because I was laid off from my full-time drywall position of ten years in 2010. When I lost my job and heard about Workforce Education, I realized I could work on starting a new beginning. This was the sweet part because I never wanted to do drywall for the rest of my life anyways.
The last couple of years before I was laid off, I honestly spent a lot of thought on the idea that even though I was providing for my family, I was not happy with what I was doing. It really became a conflict of identity for me because I've always thought that if you have to do something everyday, it would be nice it it was spent doing something meaningful. Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for all of the hard-working, blue collar men and women and the jobs that get things done, but for me I needed something else.
When I learned about Workforce Education and what amazing opportunities they were helping to give, I was all in! I knew that it would require dedication and was ready to go for it. Green River's Occupational Therapy Assistant Program was a good fit for me because I wanted to help people, and I also wanted to help them with a lot of things and activities most of us take for granted. This is to me one of the big differences that the OTA Program here at Green River provides.
What advice would you have for new students who are thinking about pursuing a similar degree?
Jason: If I had any advice to give a person that is looking to get into a similar field or any field for that matter, I would say to go after what you care about most and not what will pay you the most, and down the line you might just get both if you work hard and keep your eye on the prize. Another thing to remember when pursuing any field of study, is that you probably don't truly know all of your options for every step of the process. This is where organizations like Workforce Education is a phenomenal help and guide. They can help you talk to the right people and navigate your path to success. Always think about asking the right questions and never give up!
$$$ Funding Tip! All four Workforce Education funding programs - BFET, Opportunity Grant, Worker Retraining, and WorkFirst - support the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Green River.