We are excited to announce the Fall/Winter Semester winner of our $500 academic scholarship, Ahmad Hamdan, a student at Governors State University. Learn more about his proudest achievements and academic and career goals.
Ahmad Hamdan: It was the weekend before Christmas, I was near the end of my shift at JCPenney when an elderly woman came up to me and asked me for some help. I walked towards her with the hope that she would ask me a very simple question. She looked at me with her teary eyes, grabbed my hand, and politely asked me if I could help her pick out clothes for her husband who had just passed away. I immediately agreed to help her with anything she needed. We spent the next few hours picking the perfect wardrobe for her deceased husband. After we finished purchasing the clothes, I took her to her car and helped her situate herself as she struggled to walk. Before she left, she gave me a hug and told me that I reminded her of the occupational therapist that took care of her husband. I watched her car slowly pass by, then I stood there clueless as to what an occupational therapist was. Even more important, I didn’t know how much those two words would change my entire life.
I can stand here and proclaim that I chose occupational therapy because I genuinely like helping people. Although it’s true, it’s not the only reason I chose this career as my future field of expertise. I chose occupational therapy because I love gaining a personal connection with the people I meet. I love having the opportunity to sit down with patients and talk to them on a personal level. Occupational therapy is not simply about body strengthening after an injury, it’s about mentally understanding that an individual just faced a traumatic event that they aspire to overcome. When I shadow my local occupational therapist, I continuously examine her personal qualities that make her a magnificent therapist. When I complete my shadowing hours, I question my own personal qualities to determine if they’ll empower me to achieve my own goals.
When it comes to my personality, my family will tell you that I am a compassionate individual who matured very quickly. When I was 16 years old, I was given the responsibility of monitoring the development of my younger two siblings. Both my parents worked full-time jobs to simply pay the bills of the house. I gave up time with my friends and family to attend musicals, ceremonies, and even parent-teacher conferences. In terms of my friends, they will tell you that I am creative, caring, and even sincere. If anyone ever requests for my help, I will work wonders to reassure that they get all the help they need.
When it comes to education, my professors and colleagues will tell you that I am an ambitious individual who is motivated by desire. My desire is to become the first person in my family to attain a doctoral degree. I’ve done very well in all the courses that I’ve taken at the undergraduate level. When it occurred to me that I needed a few psychology courses to become an occupational therapist, I immediately minored in psychology to prove my dedication to the field. Currently, I am doing research on the effects of titanium plates as implants in the human body.
In terms of my professional background, I’ve worked at two different jobs that gave me experience in two different environments. Working as a sales associate at JCPenney, I had the opportunity to become an enthusiastic team player, gain strong communication skills, and even deal with customer complaints in a timely manner. As time progressed, I was hired at CarMax to become a salesman at the age of 18. While working at CarMax, I had the pleasure of building and maintaining relationships with my clients over time. My career at CarMax taught me that listening to your clientele will only benefit both sides of the table.
By obtaining a Master of Occupational Therapy degree, or a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree, my immediate goal of gaining expertise in the field of occupational therapy will be achieved. I hope to gain insight on new methods, techniques, utensils, and even technology utilized in the field of occupational therapy. In terms of my long-term goals, I plan on opening my own center in the future that will provide services in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and even speech pathology. I believe that if we all work together, we can provide the best care to any patient that walks through our doors.
In general, I choose occupational therapy because I value a personal connection with the people I meet. When people experience a traumatic event, they want a clear understanding of the steps they need to take to improve. As an occupational therapist, I plan on providing the best care for my patients as I listen to their complaints and attend to their needs. My hard work and dedication in my education and profession have prepared me to embark on the journey of a lifetime. If that elderly woman never asked me for her help on that random day, I would have never known that occupational therapy was the perfect degree for me.
This scholarship will help me by providing me with the money I need to pay off my student debt. Being a student in healthcare, debt is ever-increasing and schools are requiring payments upfront now. This scholarship will also help me by allowing me to pay for the utensils and tools I need to provide the best form of therapy to my clients. I need to practice with these tools before I can provide them. Finally, this scholarship will assist me by providing me with the money I need to pay for books so that I could expand my knowledge.
Interested in applying to our scholarship? Learn more about our requirements and apply today.