I was born and raised in Naperville, Illinois. As a sensory kid, I spent my summer days in the cul-de-sac playing kick the can and climbing trees and my winter days building igloo forts. I participated in a variety of extracurricular activities including gymnastics, drawing, tennis, the flute. However, I was less involved in soccer (as I was more interested in picking the dandelions). As an adult, I love exploring Chicago, learning, camping and travel.
Through my diverse experiences in serving children with special needs, I developed my passion for occupational therapy. My initial interest in the field began while studying psychology at Illinois State University, assisting children with autism in an ABA-style preschool readiness program. I also participated in research projects, implementing and evaluating the Second Step curriculum, designed to promote social-emotional skill development in elementary-aged children. Throughout my education, I worked closely with children and families across multiple environments, promoting independent functioning in the home, community and school settings.
In 2013, I graduated from UIC with my master’s in OT. While pursuing this degree, I continued to engage in research to further develop my knowledge of evidence-based practice. I have returned to UIC as an OTD student, where I am excited to advance my knowledge and skills in program development. Towards this end, I am completing an advanced practicum in CPERL to support completion of a project focused on introducing technology-based options to strengthen family-centered care planning at Blue Bird Day where I work.