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

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

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Courtney, Hammond“I was one of those kids that didn’t really want anything for myself.”

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Cassandra, Nashville“It’s hard to hold a baby and do homework, but anything worthwhile is not going to be easy.”

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

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

Taviona, Riverside Graduate

"My motivation comes from seeing my students succeed."

Pamela, HammondSenior Admissions Representative

“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

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

Stephanie, Fort WorthInstructor

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

Leonor, Vista Student

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

Gisselle, Las Vegas 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 enjoy watching students evolve and become responsible, hard-working individuals."

Kendra, Fort WorthStudent Finance Support Specialist

"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

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

Audreyona, IndianapolisStudent

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

Guadalupe, Modesto Student

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

Cory, El Paso Instructor

“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 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

“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

"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

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

Brittany, NashvilleStudent

“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

“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

“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