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The first-ever graduating class of Occupational Therapy Assistants from Mountain View College saw five students receive their pins on December 11. 

Dr. Candice Freeman, program director, referred to the graduates as "The Fab Five."

Below are the five graduates of the Fall 2019 OTA Class at MVC:

Name: Danielle Morris

Born: Fort Worth, TX

Describe your experience in the program at MVC. What all did you learn, and what will you take from it going forward?

My experience at MVC has been extremely rewarding. The staff and my classmates made me feel welcome and appreciated. They encouraged me, challenged me, laughed with me and leant a helping hand a time or two. As a future OTA from MVC, I feel confident I can tackle any challenge I may face with the dedication to help all those in my care. 

Do you have a job lined up? If so, what?

I have loved all of my fieldwork/clinical sites and getting to work with all ages of people, young and old, has made me love all aspects of OT. I have had more trouble deciding what population I want to work with than I thought I would. I first was drawn towards OT because I wanted to work with children. My current fieldwork site is pediatric home health and I have loved every minute. As of right now, I see myself staying with Pediatrics but I will most definitely find some way to keep working with adults and the elderly population in some way,

What did you enjoy about working with your fellow students/trainees?

My favorite thing about working with the students in my cohort is that we are all from different backgrounds. Every day was a chance to learn something new during class with ten other people with different perspectives and ways to look at things. I have learned and continue to learn so much from my classmates. They inspire me to be a better student, person and future OTA and I will cherish all the memories I’ve made with them.

Name: Edna Robledo

Live in: Grand Prairie, TX

Describe your experience in the program at MVC. What all did you learn, and what will you take from it going forward?

It was challenging but it was worth it. The program really cares about its students and providing all the tools necessary to be successful. I have made a lot of really good friendships and experiences. 

What I take forward from my experience is to never stop learning. One should not stop learning and exploring just because of a diploma. 

Do you have a job lined up? If so, what?

I don't have a job lined up yet but I am interested in working with the geriatric population.

What did you enjoy about working with your fellow students/trainees?

I enjoyed how I was able to learn things from their perspective and in ways that I would have never thought of. Other than the textbooks, their knowledge was a helpful tool for my learning experience. 

Name: Esmeralda Camacho

Live in: Dallas

Born in: Mexico

Describe your experience in the program at MVC. What all did you learn, and what will you take from it going forward?

My experience was great and long. As a new resident in this country, specifically in Texas, I found a great opportunity in Mountain View College not just to improve my English but also to pursue a career as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. I learned that we have to face the barriers and limits set in our minds because of fear. In my case, that fear was to not be able to understand a subject class in another language, however, I decided to face that fear and follow my purpose. Therefore, what I will take from this experience is to continue facing fairs that limit my potential and my purpose in life, and continue learning.

Do you have a job lined up? If so, what?

No yet, however I am thinking of applying to a Skill Nurse Facility.

What did you enjoy about working with your fellow students/trainees?

I enjoyed spending time with my classmates (now friends) in the cafeteria where we talk about moments in our lives that made us laugh. It was like our therapeutic moment since we were preparing for the following projects and assignments that we had to submit. Also, I enjoyed it when we met to study together and then we get lunch outside of the college.

Name: Judy Nguru

Live in: Denton

Born in: Kenya, Africa

Describe your experience in the program at MVC. What all did you learn, and what will you take from it going forward? My experience was great. Somedays were better than others, I had some struggles and better days which made my life easier. I had a good support system through my instructors, fellow students and Mrs. Davis who encouraged me not to ever give up and work hard. I learned to use therapeutic use-of-self which will take me a long way, respect for the individual, studying and reviewing materials.

Do you have a job lined up? If so, what? Not yet but will be looking for a job as a COTA after I graduate, and I have few ideas and people to reach out to for employment.

What did you enjoy about working with your fellow students/trainees?Teamwork, honesty, sharing ideas and skills, willing to help each other, dependability, communication, caring and respect for the individual.

Name: Stacy Suarez 

Live in: Dallas

Born in: Los Ángeles, California.

Describe your experience in the program at MVC. What all did you learn, and what will you take from it going forward?

Wow, where to begin? I’ve learned so much! The program opened my mind to so many possibilities with occupational therapy. Going into the program I knew the basics of OT but had no idea all we could do in the field. In the program I feel like I learned everything that the human body entails, including pathological conditions, musculoskeletal conditions, ergonomics, professionalism as a clinician and a lot of information regarding occupational therapy and its history. We also practiced real life simulations throughout our entire journey which I feel really helped me prepare as a future clinician. Moving forward, I feel like I will be taking everything I learned in my journey as a student and applying it to real life scenarios, all while ensuring to build rapport and making real connections with my future patients. 

Do you have a job lined up? If so, what?

As of right now, I don’t officially have a job lined up. 

What did you enjoy about working with your fellow students/trainees?

I really enjoyed everything about working with my students/ trainees. My classmates were always willing to help one another and I really feel like we became close friends throughout the journey we shared. Our trainees were also wonderful to have in our journey as they really pushed us to the finish line and helped prepare us for our future as COTA’s.