OTC Annual Report

Student Spotlight

2011 OTC Annual Report
Above: Meagen Fields, pictured with her daughter, received a scholarship that changed her life.

Breathe a Little Easier

Meagen Fields is a perfect example of someone who was able to overcome short-term obstacles in order to reach her long-term goal, thanks to the help of an OTC Foundation scholarship.

After graduating from Nixa High School in 2007, Meagen's eyes were on the future. The first-generation college student had received an A+ scholarship and enrolled in OTC.

"Coming straight out of high school and living on my own, it was appealing to go to a large school but have smaller class sizes and no student loans. I had planned to transfer with an associate of arts degree to a four-year college," she said.

But those plans hit a bump in the road when Meagen became pregnant during her sophomore year at OTC.

"The idea of transferring was less appealing then," Meagen admitted. "I knew I wanted to juggle the balance of a baby, school and studying, and community activities as little as possible. When I began looking around, I found that it took 18 months to become a physical therapy assistant.

"OTC had an accredited and well-known PTA [Physical Therapist Assistant] program. The facilities were outstanding. This was awesome news for me because being a PTA was exactly the career I was looking for."

Raising a baby on her own created issues, especially financial ones. After winning the OTC Foundation's Musgrave Foundation student scholarship, Meagen was able to breathe a little easier.

The scholarship is available for students seeking an Associate of Applied Science degree or certificate in an Allied Health program.

"As a single mom, this scholarship was a great help. It mostly paid for my books each semester. With my area of study, books are expensive and there is a significant amount of required texts and resources. Thanks to the scholarship I was able to have freedom from that burden and any little relief helps," she said.

Meagen graduated Cum Laude in May 2009 with an Associate of Applied Science degree and again Cum Laude in May 2011 with an Associate of Applied Science -- Physical Therapist Assistant.

During her time at OTC, Meagen was challenged with courses that were both demanding and appropriate. Meagen was able to graduate with everything she needed to go into the healthcare field, into a respected profession helping improve the quality of life of those she treats.

Meagen is working at the North Arkansas Regional Medical Center in Harrison as a physical therapy assistant but she still has future education goals to reach.

"I would like to continue my education by gaining a Bachelor's degree in health services. Thanks to the start OTC and the Musgrave scholarship gave me, I'm well on my way to reaching those goals," she said.