Who are you?
My name is Megan Rose Dominguez. I am a second generation FilipinaAmerican and a 2nd year Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) student at California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH). I received my B.S Kinesiology degree from California State University Northridge (CSUN) where I graduated Cum Laude. Originally, I attended Occidental College after transferring from community college, however because of the high tuition fees, I transferred to CSUN which had a comparable kinesiology program (and much more affordable tuition!)
Before being accepted into the MSOT program, I was an AfterSchool Site Coordinator for schools throughout Los Angeles County from Kindergarten12th grade developing highquality afterschool programs with state grants. My specialty was leadership development; mentoring middle and high school students. I’m also a community organizer in Carson and Long Beach through Anakbayan Long Beach, a grassroots youth and student organization working to educate, organize, and mobilize our communities to address important issues that affect Filipinos in the US and the Philippines.
What field are you in and what attracted you to that field?
After travelling independently in South and Central America and organizing with grassroots international organizations and medical missions in the Philippines for five years, I sought out a career based on scientific research, creativity, and one that pertained to the body, mind, and spirit. Occupational therapy offers a perfect blend of research, practice, art, and education so that I can learn to be an innovator in the field. As an OTS, I am able to contribute a myriad of skills and experiences I’ve acquired over the
years in education and community and program development to any setting I prefer; whether it be teaching a geriatric stroke survivor to learn how to dress themselves again, to helping a veteran recover from
substance abuse, or to increasing a child with low muscle tone’s quality of life through taskoriented activities and exercises. As a woman who values human life, dignity, and diversity, I felt this profession aligned with my values and was an appropriate profession for my personality.
How do you hope to use your master's degree to improve the health of your community?
I plan to gain work experience in neurorehabilitation and physical disabilities, specifically pediatrics. In addition, I plan to pursue dual certifications in neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT) and sensory integration (SI) as well as learn about holistic healing modalities such as Qi Gong Massage and Craniosacral Therapy (CST). Finally, I intend to work parttime in building communitybased programs, as this is one of my passions. Specifically, I plan to work with lowincome, immigrant populations, as my
current community development work has centered around the accessibility of resources and the education of basic rights for these individuals and their families.
After three years, I will pursue the Clinical Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD) as a postprofessional student. As I get to explore emerging areas of communitybased occupational therapy, I feel the clinical doctorate degree will assist in bridging the gap in current evidence and models of care that continuing education and experience alone may not be able to fulfill. My ultimate goal is to increase occupational therapy community leadership roles and presence in local, national, and international settings as it relates to public health and health disparities.
What is a resource or advice you wish you had before starting your Master's program?
Never be afraid to fail. But be graceful when it happens. Learn from your mistakes and DO NOT be too hard on yourself. Pain and discomfort don’t last forever so smile/laugh/reflect it out and remember to take care of yourself in whatever way you see fit! (e.g. write, exercise, hang out with friends, play an instrument, take up a new hobby, volunteer). Never stop reaching outside of your comfort zone. Last thing, if you have an idea/vision of something and it doesn’t yet exist (in your community, campus, general life), then enroll others in your vision and build it together!