About Rebecca Jackson
Sometimes the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Sage student Rebecca Jackson’s mother is an occupational therapist and when Rebecca completes her M.S. in Occupational Therapy she’ll begin her own career as an occupational therapist.
We might say Rebecca was groomed for this career in childhood. That’s when she first saw her mother working with toys that helped her pediatric patients. (These were toys, by the way, Rebecca wasn’t allowed to play with.)
“I remember thinking, what a cool idea this was,” Rebecca says. “Playing games to help kids do better with the challenges they faced.”
Rebecca is leaning toward working with pediatric patients, but one of the features of the Occupational Therapy program she most appreciates is the way it presents all the opportunities available to her.
“I’ve learned there are so many different populations you can work with, in so many different kinds of settings,” she says.
She could work with communities, not just individuals, helping them to build more inclusive playgrounds, or helping restaurants to be more accessible to the impaired.
“Because I love helping people,” Rebecca says, “occupational therapy offers me so much. I like that it’s a holistic medical profession. You’re taking a careful look at people’s lives, their routines and interests, and helping them to do what it is they most want and need to do. You’re asking: What are your goals? And then tailoring treatment plans to make these goals possible.”
Students in the 3+2 program can earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in just over five years — saving the time it would take to pursue the degrees separately.
When Rebecca was looking for programs to attend, the idea of getting on this fast track was a big attraction.
But it turned out that Sage seemed the right choice in many other ways as well.
“I’ve loved the small classes,” she says. “And you get to really know your professors on a personal level. You also get to know your fellow students working on collaborative projects together.”
She also loved that she was able to play varsity women’s tennis for four years and achieve a nice balance as a student athlete.
“We were lucky enough to be a really good team,” Rebecca says, “And everybody at Sage is ready to help make sure you‘re successful academically as well.”
But maybe most important of all, Rebecca says, is how the professors in the Occupational Therapy program share their experiences working in the field.
“They’ll say during class, I saw this with one of my patients last week, and having them share their experiences like this makes it so much easier to understand what you’re learning.”
Eventually, Rebecca hopes to combine her love of horses with her career path, through hippotherapy, a physical, occupational, and speech therapy that uses the movement of a horse to help improve neurologic functions and sensory processes with patients who have physical or mental disorders.
This summer, Rebecca will be interning at a practice in Maine where hippotherapy is used. It’s an opportunity she found through the Sage Occupational Therapy program. It’s just one more reason why she knows she landed right where she belonged.
“Occupational therapy offers me so much. I like that it’s a holistic medical profession. You’re taking a careful look at people’s lives, their routines and interests, and helping them to do what it is they most want and need to do."