Home > Blog > June 2019 > Alumni Spotlight: Matthew Roma

Alumni Spotlight: Matthew Roma

Posted: June 7, 2019 by Diane Smith
Photo of Mesa Campus Occupational Therapy Assistant Graduate, Matthew Roma.
Mesa Campus Occupational Therapy Assistant Graduate, Matthew Roma.

Our Alumni Spotlight this week is Matthew Roma. Roma is a 2014 graduate of the Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at our Mesa, Arizona Campus. After years of unfulfilling physical labor jobs, Roma wanted a change. After observing the great work of an occupational therapist at a school where he was employed, Roma decided that was the career path he wanted to explore.
Here’s his story.
After spending years working every physical labor job available, I decided to get a job at a high school working with special needs kids. During my time there, I would observe the occupational therapist interacting with the kids. When I began asking her questions, my eyes were opened to a brand new field and I realized I wanted to go back to school to become an Occupational Therapy Assistant.
Coming to Pima Medical Institute each day and learning was a challenge, since I had never been a great student. But, my classmates all supported each other and the instructors were awesome! I had a family to support, so I worked three different part-time jobs while a student. I would work my first shift from 4:00-6:30 am, another from 7:00 am -12:00 pm, I'd head to class for the afternoon, and then work another respite job in the evenings. I put in 18-20 hour days while in the program but it was worth it.
My first job after graduation was in home healthcare for pediatrics, so I would go to children's homes and do therapy sessions using a therapy dog. After about 6 months, I was contacted by one of my Pima Medical clinical sites about a job opportunity. As a result, I am now working as a COTA at Banner Del Web Medical Center. Coming to Pima Medical Institute's Occupational Therapy Program is one of the best decisions I've ever made. It was the right place and the right field for me and I love my job!
Pima Medical offers the Occupational Therapy Assistant Associate Degree program at the following campuses: Denver, Colorado; El Paso and Houston, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; Mesa and Tucson, Arizona and Renton, Washington.

Does Roma’s story inspire you? Call Pima Medical now at 1-888-442-5998 or check out other programs that you might be interested in.

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