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University of Southern California
University of Southern California
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Heather Bermudez MA2 ‘21

Heather Bermudez MA2 ‘21

Hometown: Humble, Texas

Program: Entry-Level Master's, Class of 2021

What brought you to occupational therapy?
I was struggling to find myself again after learning to cope with an autoimmune disorder. Though I was able to manage my symptoms, I no longer knew what I wanted to do. My journey did, however, teach me one of the most valuable lessons I have learned to date: everyone has a story. We are more than our symptoms or circumstances, limitations or fears. One of my best friends introduced me to occupational therapy and I was amazed to find a profession which aligns so closely with my own values and beliefs. The more I learned about occupational therapy the more I knew I had to join this incredible profession. Connecting with others as fellow humans, learning their stories, and helping them achieve success—no matter what that means for them…that is what I want to do.

What area of practice are you interested in?
I always thought I would work in pediatrics. Early intervention, NICU, and Sensory Integration all sound interesting. Since starting the program, however, I have developed more of an interest in working in other emerging areas of practice with different populations. I am interested in working in postpartum health, exploring OT’s role in working with survivors of sex trafficking, domestic violence, and trauma, and working with foster youth. I do not yet know where any of this will lead me, but I am excited to learn more about what OT can be.

What are some of the occupations you engage in?
One of my favorite occupations is dance. I love ballet and have recently started learning aerial hammock. In crafts class this summer, I picked up a new hobby of wood burning and now it’s all I want to do when I am at home.

What song can you sing entirely by heart?
A lot, but my current playlist is mostly Breaking Benjamin.

What are some small things that make your day better?
Being greeted by my dog when I walk through the door, hearing my boyfriend say “Is that a babe?” when I come home, the smell of pine trees (Have you smelled a sunbaked Jeffrey pine?)