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Read about some of our students and their interests, career goals, and experiences in the our Programs.


Student Spotlight

Michael Simpson

Our March Student Spotlight features our Physical Therapist Assistant student, Michael Simpson. Michael has some words of wisdom for new students …. “know what you’re getting yourself into; you have to give it 100% and understand that there may be sacrifices; but, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel”. 

 Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? What are your interests?
I grew up in Culver City, but I moved to the San Fernando Valley after high school. My interests are in boxing and music.

What is a cause you are passionate about?
I’m passionate about helping the less fortunate. I grew up seeing my mom dedicate herself to missionary work by traveling to third world countries helping to build schools and getting people in these countries access to medical care, etc. I enjoy helping at food banks which collect and distribute food to hunger relief organizations and in aiding with rescuing animals.

How did your path unfold and who were the faculty and staff who have helped you along that path?
I was a FedEx driver for 12 years and felt unfulfilled in my life – I was looking for a more meaningful life and career. I researched careers that were experiencing growth in the field as well as sustained longevity. Physical Therapist Assistant fell into this category. Before applying to the PTA program, I volunteered at an outpatient facility and fell in love. As time went on, I found myself leaving my Fed-ex job earlier on more occasions so that I could volunteer more hours.

Ms. Alison Hanson has been my most influential and impactful instructor. Her teaching style, organization and her “toughness” have encouraged me in being a better student PTA every day.

What have you learned or are learning that’s made a difference to you?
I’ve learned how to study smarter, not harder, and what study habits work best for me.

What have you learned from other students?
Working with other student’s has taught me how to work in groups and how to communicate with different personalities. And when you want to be confident in your craft, you must devote all your time to perfecting those skills.

What has been your greatest challenge?
Embracing stupidity, facing my fears and stepping out of my comfort zone.

What has been your favorite class so far and why?
PTA Techniques (PTA 142). It was the first class where I knew I would use those skills immediately.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
In high school I wanted to be a veterinarian, but I went to college and received my degree in music engineering.

What would people be surprised to know about you?
My knowledge of every type of genre of music.

What is your plan for after graduation? What type of facility would you like to work in and why?
I’d like to work in an inpatient facility for a couple years – I think it will prepare me for any type of job as a Physical Therapist Assistant.

What advice do you have for incoming students?
Know what you’re getting yourself into; you have to give it 100% and understand that there may be sacrifices; but, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.


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