University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Meet Our Trojan Family

Katherine Tao MA2 ‘21

Katherine Tao MA2 ‘21

Hometown: Temple City, CA

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

What brought you to occupational therapy?
When I was in middle school, my younger brother had an OT who would work on strengthening his pencil grasp. I saw how creative and fun the OT was, especially when she was working on these skills with him. As I got older, my heart for children with disabilities started to grow as I became more mature in my faith. I wanted to combat the stigma of disability in society and show that each individual is made to be precious and loved. At the same time, I wanted to play a personal and practical role in the lives of individuals with disabilities by helping them engage in what is important to them. I thought about occupational therapy, which was the perfect combination of creativity, advocacy, and practicality.

What area of practice are you interested in?
Currently, I am interested in the field of pediatrics. I am specifically interested in the fields of developmental disabilities and pediatric oncology. I also have a big dream of working internationally with orphan care, especially with orphans who have developmental disabilities and physical illnesses. I hope to create or develop an orphanage that can provide holistic and meaningful care to an orphan’s physical, emotional, and spiritual health.

What are some of the occupations you engage in?
My favorite occupations include spending quality time with my loved ones, playing worship music on the ukulele, attempting to bake healthy desserts, going to the beach, and playing with puppies! 

If your childhood had a smell, what would it be?
Hometown Buffet.

What are some small things that make your day better?
When my avocado is perfectly ripe, waking up without feeling tired, having the right song come up on the radio at the right time, seeing a fluffy dog pass by, french fries, and meaningful talks with people I love.