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Why I Chose Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy Volunteers

Occupational Therapy Student Intern Blog Reflections

Miranda O’Brien, NYU

November 4, 2020

I decided to become an Occupational Therapist while growing up with my younger brother who is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I saw him face challenges to achieve academic success, socialize, and become independent. I want to be an Occupational Therapist to support individuals like my brother with Autism.

During my senior year of high school and early years of my undergraduate program at SUNY Cortland, I struggled to discover a major I was truly passionate about studying. However, with SUNY Cortland having a large health and fitness community which I really enjoyed being a part of I decided on studying Public Health.

I learned more about various healthcare professions and my senior year I interned at Cortland Mental Health Clinic working with the youth services and individuals with developmental disabilities. I was reminded of some of the challenges that my brother faced when I was younger and realized I was going to pursue my master’s in occupational therapy to help individuals in this population succeed and live fulfilling lives.

I was a Level I Occupational Therapy student at Afya during my second academic year at NYU. I loved working with different individuals and groups of the local community coming together to help people all across the world. I requested to be assigned to Afya as a Level II student, as well.

The best part of working at Afya is interacting with the friendly staff and meeting new volunteers. The stories and backgrounds of all the people that come to Afya help me learn and grow as a student. After my time at Afya, I will go on to my second Level II experience before graduating, I know that my time here will give me good foundational OT skills to prepare me for my next experience!