Yna Acolola MA ’21
Hometown: Manila, Philippines
Program: Post-Professional Master’s, Class of 2021
What brought you to occupational therapy?
I first learned about occupational therapy during an informal chat with my high school teacher during the time college applications were approaching. I’m very thankful to have chosen this career because it allows me to build meaningful connections with my clients and bring about positive impact in their lives. I highly appreciate OT’s innate ability to empower people to work towards the achievement of their determined goals and the improvement of their quality of life.
What are some of the occupations you engage in?
I truly value the experiences I gain from exploring different places, meeting people from diverse backgrounds, and learning about different cultures; which is why traveling tops the list of my favorite occupations. This is even more enjoyable for me when done with friends and family. When I’m at home, you can usually find me watching a movie, reading a book, working out, or preparing a meal, which is a newfound interest of mine.
How do you plan to use Occupational Therapy in the future?
I see myself practicing in the field of hand rehabilitation. I would like to learn techniques and modalities for the treatment of various injuries to facilitate my clients’ independence in their everyday activities. I plan to draw upon occupational therapy’s individualized and collaborative approach to share professional advice to my clients and also, more importantly, learn from my clients as the experts of their own lives.
If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?
If given the chance, I would like to visit my home country, the Philippines, and explore the beautiful islands that I haven’t visited yet: Coron, Kalanggaman, Siquijor, and a lot more.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
One advice that I’ve carried with me was one from my uncle, which said: “To be the most successful version of yourself, remember to listen to your heart.” With all the external pressures and societal expectations around us, it is sometimes inevitable to lose sight of what truly matters. This piece of advice helps me put things into perspective and reminds me to focus on the really important things in life.
Note: Yna served as Student Ambassador in the Chan division during the 2020–21 academic year.