Sarah Tuzzolo in Occupational Therapy Classroom

Sarah Tuzzolo has a very personal reason for wanting to become an occupational therapist. When she was growing up, her brother needed the help of this kind of medical professional. “They were so kind and caring,” Sarah remembers. “And they included family members in the treatment, to help us feel more connected. That made a real impression on me.”

Sarah chose Sage for its Occupational Therapy: Accelerated 3+2 program, which allows eligible students to complete a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in just over five years. But what connects her most of all to Sage now is “the most loving community you can possibly imagine.”

During Sarah’s sophomore year, her mother became sick with cancer. “Students and professors were making meals for us,” she says. “They really do care about you here. I know this so well.”

Even before that difficult time, Sarah says she knew right away that she had become a member of a warm and welcoming community. “People leave their doors open. You can knock on anyone’s door and they are happy to talk with you.”

This type of supportive environment, Sarah says, has helped her to become more confident. As an example, she says the idea of public speaking used to frighten her. It was way out of her comfort zone. “But because the students and professors are so supportive, I’ve made multiple public speaking presentations, including at statewide forums.”

“I’ve never experienced a place like this,” she says. “It’s special.”