Martin persevered, and she credits much of her strength to the faculty and her fellow classmates who became like family. She now refers to the other students in her graduating class as her brothers and sisters.
“A couple of the students found out about my medical issues, and they were concerned about how I was doing,” she said. “If I wasn’t at school or if I was late they would start messaging me to check on me… I looked up to them; they looked up to me.”
Now Martin is preparing to take her Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant test. She plans to work as both a COTA and as a respiratory therapist.
“I don’t see myself letting respiratory go,” she said.
Some extra time was worked into the first round of WC’s 20-month program as the new curriculum was ironed out.
“The class was patient as the program developed,” McGough said. “They were the test pilots, and they came through with flying colors. I can’t say enough about them. They were very motivated and patient, and they will make outstanding therapists.”
Martin said the quality of program instructors motivated the class to stick out the extra time. “We had gone too far,” she said. “And our instructors were awesome. Without them we couldn’t have done it.”
The second set of students is on track to graduate in December, and the third round of the program began in January. Only 20 students are accepted each time.
“Last time I had more than 60 applications,” McGough said. “I expect to have that or more in the future. It’s a very competitive field.”