The role of a USC Chan Student Ambassador is to help raise awareness for the field of occupational therapy and our programs here at USC. They provide tours, give informational presentations, help with events, blog about their experiences, post to Chan Division social media accounts, and answer questions from prospective students.
San Marino, California
Read Bethany’s blog posts ⟩
Hello! My name is Bethany Yew, and I am from San Marino, California. I am in my second year of the Master’s program as a student in the Bachelor’s-to-Master’s program. It seems strange that I will be concluding the program so soon, as I am in my fifth and final year. Growing up with physicians as parents, I had wanted to help people through health care. When I first found occupational therapy in high school, I was entranced by the idea that OT looks at answering the question “What matters to you?” not just “What’s the matter with you?” I wanted to be able to creatively help people achieve their goals in their everyday occupations. And now I get to share about my pursuit of occupational therapy with you! Fight On!
Read Calvin’s blog posts ⟩
Hey there! My name is Calvin Lee and I’m from Arcadia, California. I graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a BA in psychology, and am currently in my second year of the Entry-Level Master’s program. Before I had learned about occupational therapy, all I knew was that I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know how to. However, after a good friend of mine introduced me to the profession during my senior year of high school, I had fallen in love. Occupational therapy takes such a collaborative and holistic approach towards helping people live their life to the fullest and I’m forever grateful to be in a program filled with supportive colleagues, faculty, and mentors who empower me every step of the way. Some of my favorite occupations include spending time with family and friends, traveling to new places, and doing anything related to music! I can’t wait to see what this year has in store, and I’m so excited to share my stories about my USC OT journey with you all! Fight On!
Van Nuys, CA
Read Daniel’s blog posts ⟩
Hello! My name is Daniel Padilla Vega and I was born in Cuernavaca, Mexico. I was raised in Van Nuys, CA since the age of six! I graduated from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) with a B.S. in Kinesiology: Exercise Science. I was introduced to occupational therapy (OT) during one of my introductory Kinesiology courses. While completing OT volunteer hours I learned more about the profession’s holistic approach and the diverse populations it serves. I wanted to pursue a career that would teach me the appropriate skills to help maximize the well-being of people who live within challenging contexts in the communities where I grew up (i.e., low-income, immigrants, undocumented, Latinx). As a first-generation student, my education has also granted me the opportunity to pursue leadership roles that allow me to help students navigate higher education. Outside of the classroom, some of my favorite occupations include finding fun ways to exercise, learning about random topics on podcasts, and always looking to try new food places (especially burritos!). Fight on!
New Orleans, Louisiana
Read Lamoni’s blog posts ⟩
Hi! My name is Lamoni Lucas and I am from New Orleans, Louisiana. I graduated from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania with a BA in Psychology. At the end of my junior year, I attended a career fair where, after expressing my interests, I was told “oh! You should look into occupational therapy!” So, I did. I was immediately drawn to the profession’s emphasis on holistic care and how that translates to helping clients fully engage in daily living. The more I read about OT, the more creative, flexible, and unique it sounded. It was like going down a rabbit hole of endless possibilities. In class, the rabbit hole continues to expand! Just when you think you have a grasp on what occupational therapists can do, there’s more. Outside of class, my occupations include reading, working out, exploring new restaurants, and spending time with the people that I love. I look forward to sharing my student experience with you all!
Santa Ana, California
Read Liz’s blog posts ⟩
Hello! My name is Liz Rivera and I was born and raised in Santa Ana, CA. I am a 2nd year student in the Entry-level Master’s program and recently moved to Los Angeles to be closer to campus. Prior to attending USC’s OT program, I attended California State University, Fullerton where I received my B.S. in Kinesiology. I chose to pursue a career in occupational therapy because it is a profession that is inclusive and welcomes innovation! My love for occupational therapy continues to grow as I learn about our role when working with diverse populations across various settings. Outside of the classroom, my meaningful occupations consist of longboarding, tanning at the beach, attempting to cook, and spending time with my loved ones. I am excited to see what this year has in store and look forward to sharing my experiences with you all. Fight on!
Long Beach, California
Read Nmachi’s blog posts ⟩
Hey! My name is Nmachi Obiwuru and I am from Long Beach, CA. I am currently going into my 2nd year of the wonderful Bachelor’s to Master’s program. Generally speaking, I have always been inspired and excited by science. My love for science began with simple curiosity about the workings of the human body, and later developed into a full-blown desire to use my science knowledge to help others. Throughout my schooling, I continuously gravitated toward USC because of the many opportunities and resources available to pursue a career in science/healthcare. I was introduced to the field of occupational therapy by my sister (a USC alumna) and through my own research regarding various healthcare professions. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason because after learning more about the field, I discovered that USC is #1 in the nation for occupational therapy! My dream school + a new, compelling career path = perfection! I am very honored to be able to learn more about OT everyday through the BS-MA program, and I am proud to be a student ambassador this summer!
Fun facts about me: I’m Nigerian-American, I love dancing and singing at random moments throughout the day, and I believe that the musical Hamilton is simply genius!
San Diego, California
Read Savi’s blog posts ⟩
Hi there! My name is Savi Lurie and I am from San Diego, California. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BS in Rehabilitation Psychology in 2019. I first learned about OT after injuring both my thumbs playing as a goalie for my middle school soccer team. During my hand rehabilitation process, I worked with a USC OT graduate who enlightened me on all the avenues one can take as an OT and worked with me to tailor the therapy sessions to best address my occupational needs. After watching my sister complete her first year in OT school, I was further convinced that this profession was perfect for me since it allows me to care for people across the lifespan and enable clients to improve their quality of life through a holistic approach to rehabilitation. Outside of the classroom, some of my favorite activities include running, hiking, wakeboarding, dancing, and spending time with friends and family. As an ambassador, I look forward to sharing my excitement about OT and USC with you all!
Read Yna’s blog posts ⟩
Hey there! My name is Joleena Acolola but I go by Yna. I was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. I graduated from the University of the Philippines Manila with a bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy (OT). Currently, I am residing here in Southern California, pursuing graduate studies at USC Chan’s Post-Professional Master’s program. The more I study about occupational therapy, the more drawn I become to its holistic and client-centered approach. It’s amazing to learn about the many ways that OTs can empower our clients across any age group to live meaningful lives by engaging in the occupations that matter to them the most. Personally, some of my favorite occupations include traveling, taking pictures, staying active, and spending quality time with my family and friends. I am eager to see what this year has in store, and to share with you all my journey as a Trojan OT student. Fight On!