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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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Rachel Schey MA2 ’20

Rachel Schey MA2 ’20

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Program: Entry-Level Professional Master's, Class of 2020

What area of practice are you interested in?
I am very interested in animal assisted therapy, and am always looking for opportunities to work with animals in either the pediatric or adult setting. The greatest thing about it is that animals can help and are therapeutic in any context.

Describe your background before coming to occupational therapy.
I worked as a personal trainer and health coach in San Francisco, at the same time volunteering with my dog as an animal assisted therapist. My dog and I worked in a school reading program and at an activity center for children and adults with disabilities. This was where I started to see the benefits of engaging animals with people in a way that went beyond what people alone are able to do. Dogs have a unique ability to connect with people on a different level that removes boundaries, and creates a spirit of safety and openness.

If your childhood had a smell, what would it be?
I grew up in Michigan, so I would say the smell of the Fall leaves, with a crispness in the air that reminds me of Friday night football games in high school, and hot, spiced apple cider.

What are some small things that make your day better?
Coming home to my dog who gets wiggly and excited to see me. I try to do something active every day- running, yoga, spin class or weights- it always makes me feel better. I love to cook at the end of the day- it helps me unwind.