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Yasaman Moarrab, studying Occupational Therapy, is a DiversityJobs Scholarship Finalist

[I] have always had a connection to people with disabilities, particularly children, which has led me to many meaningful professional opportunities. The ability to connect and relate to children with disabilities led me to begin my work as a child care provider for children with special needs, eleven years ago.

My first job was with a boy who had moderate motor impairments as a result of a developmental disability. He was unable to perform many physical tasks, although he responded positively to non-traditional approaches to basic life skills that we worked on regularly. Much of our day was spent practicing things that might seem second nature to most; things like how to button his own shirts, how to dress himself independently, and how to soothe himself when he was upset.

When I discovered that I was teaching skills as an occupational therapist would, I knew that I had found the environment in which I wanted to work. My interest in helping individuals with disabilities improve their daily functioning led me to research careers in occupational therapy. I am inspired by the impact that I have had on the children whom I have worked with, even at my current level of experience, and that excitement is what drives me to continue down this path.

Last year, I fell ill with Pneumococcal Meningitis. This illness occurred three months before I was to start graduate school to begin my Master’s program in Occupational Therapy. As a result of the illness I was forced to defer my education for a year in order to recover. My medical team also informed me that I could potentially experience permanent hearing, physical, and cognitive damage as a result of the meningitis, and that returning to school may not be an option for me. I was grief stricken when I heard this news. I had worked so hard to get to graduate school, and my academic journey to get here was not an easy one.

Having a team of doctors telling me I may never walk or hear again, and may suffer from chronic pain was a lot to comprehend. It took me a day to process, but after I did, I decided nobody was going to decide the outcome of my future but me. I worked intensively with my physical & occupational therapists, I meditated, and I emailed my professors and asked if they would be kind enough to allow me to complete my senior quarter online. They allowed me to complete my senior research project online, and I was able to complete my senior quarter within three months of being discharged from the hospital.

I spent the last year doing everything I possibly could to get as healthy as possible, so that I could be the best version of myself for graduate school. I am happy to say that my walking is fully normal, in fact I walked out of the hospital with the assistance of my nurse on discharge day; my hearing is no longer impaired, I have no cognitive impairments, and I haven’t had a migraine in over 7 months thanks to my wonderful neurologist. When there’s a will, there’s a way; and nobody was going to deter me from my future career or service to others.

We are proud to announce Yasaman Moarrab is one of the current DiversityJobs Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

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35 comments

  • Yas You are a wonderful woman. Any organization would be lucky to have you represent them as a grant or scholarship recipiant. You have delt with your hardships with grace and strength. It speaks to your unselfish nature to continue your quest to still serve others. Goodluck in school and life!

  • Intelligence, persistence, determination and goal oriented. I am very proud of you and sure that you will reach to your aspirations in life.

  • I have known Yasaman for many years now and she has embraced our family and made a difference in our son’s life, who is a special needs child on the spectrum. She has a sincere interest and ability to make a difference as an Occupational Therapist.

  • I am sure many are deserving of this scholarship but no one has earned it like Yasaman. Time and time again she has proven not only how strong she is in her personal life but professional as well. Her passion to help others is something that an essay can not solely express. If you were to sit down and talk to her you would feel moved to get more involved and witness her gift of patience and compassion that can not be taught; but something that is part of ones character. I hope that you make the right decision and award Yasaman with this scholarship, because it is not only the right decision but the best one.

  • You have clearly demonstrated what power of will can do. One may not set a better inspirational example for those who may need much support and a fighting chance to battle through in achieving their goals. I am so proud of you!

  • Even before Yasaman had realized that occupational therapy was her calling she was already a natural. She genuinely loves not only her work but the children she has worked with. I have had the absolutely pleasure of not only getting to meet these amazing kids but watching Yasaman interact with & teach with such carefree ease. Yasaman has overcome obstacles that to most of us would be unthinkable yet never gave up nor lost sight of her educational or professional goals. Her perseverance, determination & undeniable passion alone are why Ms.Moarrab is who I believe to be the obvious winner.

  • Your determination and will to reach your goals and overcome all the obstacles along the way are inspiring. Your intelligence, insight and compassion will take you far and I could not be more proud and excited to witness all your achievements in life. I can not imagine any other candidate more deserving of this scholarship than you. Best of luck!

  • Im so proud of you Yas. You have worked so hard for this, you certainly deserve this opportunity. Your work with people in need will make a big difference in many peoples lives. good luck!

  • I am Infinitely inspired and perpetually proud of you. Humanity shall continue to gain from you in
    your professional capacity.

  • Absolutely inspiring and I hope you are able to continue to assist people in the future, especially considering your own personal battle. I think this could only make you more understanding and empathetic. All things can be used for good. Isn’t that true!

  • We need many special people like you in the world. You help yo make our world a better place. Thank you. May you live a blessed life.

  • The quality of your connection with children with special needs and their trust in your care has always impressed me. I am sure that you are ready and able to take on the challenges of graduate school.

  • Nice job Yas! I have always been impressed by your focused determination to achieve the goals you set for yourself.

  • Yas, your determination is inspiring. I am are sure you will go on and do great things to assist so many people who are among the most vulnerable in our communities to live more fulfilling and meaningful lives. The career path you have chosen is such an important one and I wish you all the best with your goals.

  • Any family would be truly blessed to have Yasi working with the family. I know! I am one of those families. Yasi always finds a way to reach the difficult to reach. She opens opportunities for those who may be limited (or think they are limited). We are so proud to know Yasi and she will always be part of my family.

  • It’s truly inspiring to know your story, and witness what a motivated and determined person you have been over the many years. You have always stayed true to your passion of helping those in need, even when you were facing difficult personal challenges. Instead of giving up through the hard times, you only pushed yourself more and stayed persistent in pursuing your goals and dreams. I know that you will make an amazing OT!! Best of luck!!

  • Its great to know that people with such a heart for others, like yourself, are seeking to work with some of the most vulnerable and marginalised in our society. Good luck Yasman with your career path, I’m sure you will help many others and your personal experience with adversity will only assist you to understand the challenges people with disabilities face.

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