Why is school important? What kind of motivation and preparation is necessary for a student to have before pursuing a higher education? I sat down with Jordan Lowry to find out more about his personal experience in education, specifically in the OTA program.
According to LC.edu/program/OTA/ The goal of Lewis and Clark’s Occupational Therapy Assistant program is to “help people of all ages who are healthy with a focus on wellness, productive aging, and preventative issues.” Helping people brings those that are helping together. In regards to the program, Lowry said “we’re all like a family.”
Lowry began his caregiving experience at 16, when his grandmother passed away and he moved to Iowa to take care of his grandpa. “It wasn’t anything that I knew I was going to do, it just kind of happened, and that’s what started this whole journey.”
The instructors of the program have played a huge role in Lowry’s experience in the program: he describes his instructors as “phenomenal”, and could not choose a favorite. “The teachers make it very active,” Lowry said.
In fact, the classes are more than your average college course. “The class is always part of the lecture, and lab is hands-on. We get to do activities so it’s not just sitting in a class all day long with no talking, no moving.” Lowry said.
However, the program, and any schooling, is about more than the fun elements. The challenge of prerequisite classes was not ignored, as Lowry said “You just gotta get through…Study, do your work, always keep close contact with your professors.”
His biggest piece of advice, though? Mental preparedness. “You have to be mentally ready or it’s not going to work.” This preparation has been a big part of Lowry’s journey to and through this program. “If you’re not mentally ready for school and you’re just doing it because you think you have to, I think that’s where people run into problems. You have to have a want to get ahead with your career in the future. This is preparing you for a lifetime” Lowry said.
Lowry credits Renee Bauer, our school counselor, for helping him along the way. “I have been counseled by her for a few years at LC and I owe her a huge thank you…she is an Angel” Lowry said. Renee is available by appointment or for emergency walk-ins in CW 2335 and at (618) 468-4125.
“It’s definitely had a positive impact…probably because this is what I’m going to be doing the rest of my life,” Lowry said in regards to personal application of the program. “This is laying the foundation for a great future, great career, its boosted my confidence in my abilities, it’s given me a definite answer that this is what I’m supposed to be doing. This is the path for me and there is no uncertainty about that. When you do it and you actually love doing it, it makes a big difference” Lowry said.
Loving what you do also ties into something that plays a big role in his life: faith. “God is [my] number one [role model]. Without him, nothing’s possible for me…Trusting and believing in him has been the greatest thing in my life. It’s been amazing” Lowry said.
He’s seen this manifested in his community and his passion. “Community of friends and in church has been such a blessing. It’s made a huge difference in my life” Lowry said. When asked what he was passionate about, without hesitation, Lowry said: “Caring for others. That’s my number one thing. Helping people enjoy their life to the best of their ability.”
In regards to how his experience has been, Lowry said its “extremely rewarding.”