Clinical Massage Therapy, HammondDavid

“Born and raised in Melville. I’ve basically been in Indiana my entire life, minus my military experience. My end date was Feb. 6, 2015. I was in the Air Defense Artillery, shooting missiles down. So, I was in Korea and Japan for two years.


At Brightwood, I am currently in the massage therapy program. I chose it because I’ve always had an affinity toward massage. When my mother was in school, I would give her massages. I knew it was something I liked doing, but I never thought of it in terms of being a lucrative job. I have always just enjoyed making people feel better. I really wanted to alleviate pain.

So far, it’s been a great experience. My classmates are really passionate about what they want to do, which makes for an even better learning environment because you don’t have people that are slacking off or not coming to class. I do see some of that, but for the most part, people are very goal-oriented and driven; this is especially true with older classmates.

“I have always just enjoyed making people feel better.”

After we complete training, there are several clients that come in on a daily basis for us to practice on. I’m not there yet, but I have filled in for people who were about to graduate, which was a great experience. For me, I’ll practice on friends, family or anyone that’s willing. This is just something that’s awesome for me and something that I’ve always done.

It’s nice, because I’ve been able to apply my military training to my schooling. During my time in the service, every day we had this acronym called LDRSHIP drilled into us. It stood for Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. So, we had this acronym that told you how to act and condone yourself in any kind of setting. I try and apply these values when I’m at Brightwood.

My military experience also helped me deal with the everyday stresses of life because it gave me a broader sense of what struggle could mean. What I went through in the military is nothing in comparison to what civilian life can dish out.

“What I went through in the military is nothing in comparison to what civilian life can dish out.”

I will be done May 19, 2017, so my next step is to start the externship program. I plan to do an externship through various companies, which may or may not be what I’m looking for. Ultimately, I really want to do my own thing. I want to be my own boss.

My advice for veterans looking to return to civilian life – definitely do your research and look at all your options. For me, I didn’t stop asking questions. I was really goal-driven, so being stagnant makes me crazy. The best option for people coming out of the military is to go directly into your schooling. I think that is going to be extremely beneficial. Don’t waste any time.”

We’re in this togetherRead More of Our Stories

Ivan, San Antonio - San Pedro“On a daily basis, success to me means doing better.”

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Cassi, Nashville“I was working a sales job that I absolutely hated, and I realized that I needed to start a career.”

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Alethia, Nashville“The fact that I got hired before I graduated was pretty cool.”

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Are you a Brightwood College student, graduate or staff member?We’d love to hear your story!

“I make it my mission to create a campus culture of family and a sense of belonging. We know our students' names, we know their stories, we know what makes them smile. We listen to our students, and we recognize them for changing their life and making it happen!”

Shaheen, Fort Worth Staff Member

“I needed to do something hands-on and slightly behind the scenes. So I chose pharmacy technician. The job I am doing is a perfect fit for me.”

Bright, San Antonio - San Pedro Graduate

“My motivation comes from seeing my students succeed.”

Pamela, HammondSenior Admissions Representative

“I get to help students take that next step and push themselves to be more than they thought they could.”

Joe, El Paso Career Development Specialist

“My parents are both immigrants. Being the first in my family to go to college has made my parents proud.”

Leonor, Vista Student

“It has taken me three tries and three different schools to find a place that I enjoy and a career field I love.”

Anna, Friendswood Student

“I endeavor to remind students that life will happen with or without your personal satisfaction. Do something worthwhile. Do something you love.”

Terra, Fort Worth Dean

“Having three small children hasn't always been easy, but striving to make sure they are secure is what drives me.”

Audreyona, IndianapolisStudent

“I enjoy watching students evolve and become responsible, hard-working individuals.”

Kendra, Fort WorthStudent Finance Support Specialist

“I always wanted to go back to school but it seemed impossible working full-time and taking care of four children. My kids are the reason I chose this field. They have a lot of problems with their teeth, and after so many treatments, I found out this career is very interesting.”

Mirla, Indianapolis Student

“I loved my careeer in healthcare. Now I love passing on the knowledge and real-world experiences to my students.”

Margie, Fort Worth Instructor

“No matter how hard my circumstances were, I never gave up.”

Taviona, Riverside Graduate

“My daughter motivates me every single day. I want the best future for her. I want to show her anything is possible and to go after your goals.”

Jazmine, Fort Worth Student

“I was afraid because I have been out of school for a very long time and was doubting myself, but I knew I needed to go back to school.”

Kimberly, Indianapolis Student

“My children are my world, and I want them to see their mom as a successful person.”

Guadalupe, Modesto Student

“My kids and my grandkids motivate me. I want them to be able to know, no matter your age or situation, never give up on your dreams.”

Yvonne, Dayton Student

“The proudest moment of my life was when I had my first interview and they offered me the job. I am happy with the place, and I love my job!”

Mariana, Charlotte Graduate

“I came to the United States searching for a future with my husband and two little boys. I wasn't sure how I was going to speak another language or where to start seaching for a job. I learned the language and got more confident about myself, but I felt like I was incomplete. I needed a career.”

Leslie, Laredo Graduate

“I chose the medical field because I want to be able to help people. You have to have a good heart and a lot of patience to work in this field.”

Monica, CharlotteStudent

“I am motivated by my students who are enrolled to make a better life for themselves and their families. It motivates me watching them overcome many life obstacles and cross that finish line and graduate. The strength of my students is amazing!”

Marianne, Fort Worth Staff Member

“I proved to myself that obstacles do come your way, but when you have your mind set on what you want you will achieve it. I’m now a dental assistant!”

Paula, Corpus Christi Graduate

“My children motivate me. Their father died when they were 7 and 11. Now I must provide a life for them on my own.”

Rachel, Dayton Graduate

“I help students take the leap every day. The difference is that I refuse to let them fall. I believe in their success!”

Latanya, CharlotteAdmissions Representative

“I have worked in Career Development for over five years and still have the same passion for helping our students as I did on day one. Improving the outlook of someone's life motivates me.”

Athenai, Fort Worth Staff Member

“How can I make a difference today? That’s my daily question. Coming from circumstances that shaped me into who I am today, I want to give back in a way most of us truly need.”

Kimberly, Fort WorthCareer Development Specialist

“I know what it’s like to lose everything then work hard to make a good life for myself and my children. It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. It’s not who you are, it’s who you can become.”

Melody Ann, Hammond Student Finance Supervisor

“If I can’t be in the Marine Corps anymore and protecting my country, I might as well be protecting people from something else — bad teeth!”

Audrey, Vista Student

“Students motivate me every day. A chance to speak to them and show them that they do have a chance is extremely rewarding to me.”

Elizabeth, Fort WorthStudent Finance Support Specialist

“I realized that college parties, the traditional classroom setting, and being far from home was not for me. I knew I wanted to continue with a career path that would help people and benefit society.”

Natalie, Indianapolis Student

“No matter what difficulties you face in life there is always hope. Tomorrow is another day with new opportunities. Love life, love people, love yourself. You are worth it.”

Amber, Modesto Student

“You have to believe in yourself and believe that you are worth it every step of the way.”

Stephanie, Fort WorthInstructor

“My proudest moment was the first day I walked into class and found my place in life.”

Catherine, Fort Worth Student

“Always follow your dreams even if it seems as if you could never accomplish them. Nothing is impossible!”

Gisselle, Las Vegas Student

“As a first-generation American, first-generation college graduate, and having been a young parent, I am motivated to help my students, many of whom share a similar life experience.”

Alex, Chula Vista Campus President

“No matter what may ever happen to you in life, you can pull yourself out.”

Brittany, NashvilleStudent

“Technology has always interested me, as well as taking things apart and putting them back together.”

Cory, El Paso Instructor

“I chose the Medical Assistant program because I love to help people move forward.”

Rosetta, Fort Worth Student

“I have always been in love with the dental field.”

Tyshawna, Indianapolis Student