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One Brave Step at a Time

Lizzy Whitling was no stranger to life in ministry. Her parents served in full-time ministry throughout her childhood and continue to serve in ministry today. She knew college was something she wanted to do but wasn’t sure how it would all come together. As the oldest of four children, Lizzy grew up in a rural area with limited internet and no grocery stores or cell phone service. “Going to college was more than moving out of my parent’s house and away from my community,” said Lizzy. “It was my first time facing the “normal” things of society. That was more overwhelming than I even realized at the time.” When she found Jessup, she knew that God was asking her to be brave and take the next step. “I chose Jessup because I knew a Christ-centered education would not only prepare me for my future career but would be one of the most valuable things I could do with my college years,” said Lizzy. “I also chose Jessup because of the generosity of the institution and donors. I received multiple scholarships, lifting the financial burden of attending college from me and my family.” 

With dreams of becoming a healthcare professional, Lizzy chose Jessup’s psychology program because it had nearly every pre-requisite class she needed to get accepted into a number of prestigious graduate programs. “Because of Jessup’s small class sizes and catalyst-minded faculty, I was able to adjust things as necessary to accommodate what I personally needed to reach my goals and pursue my dreams,” said Lizzy. 

When it was time to look for an internship, Lizzy turned to Jessup’s Career and Life Planning (CLP) department. “The CLP department allowed me to use what I was learning in the classroom out in the local community. They also prepared me for graduate school,” said Lizzy. “The outstanding staff helped me build my resume so that I could attain multiple jobs during my time at Jessup and connected me to local internship opportunities.” 

Throughout her time at Jessup, Lizzy had occupational therapy (OT) internships at Sutter’s Rehabilitation Institute, Ride to Walk, and Baby Steps Therapy Clinic. These internships required emails, interviews, background checks, live scans, drug tests, and paperwork. The CLP team helped Lizzy with each step of the process. Through these internships, God awakened her passion for occupational therapy and helping others. She was also able to include all her internships in her graduate school applications. Lizzy ultimately chose Loma Linda University Health in Southern California for graduate school. The internships impacted her acceptance into graduate school and played a vital role in her ability to follow her dreams and serve her local community.

The most important thing I learned from these internships was that I loved the career I was pursuing. My confidence grew exponentially,” said Lizzy. “Occupational therapy was a career that God brought to my attention through different dreams and experiences. I was walking in faith and my confidence was in God’s faithfulness.”

Lizzy was quick to point out that this story was God’s, not hers. “Jessup played a major role in helping me follow God’s lead into a career as an occupational therapist by enriching my spiritual life, presenting meaningful and pertinent content in classes, and helping me accomplish everything I needed to be accepting into grad school.” Lizzy completed her degree at Jessup in December 2016, receiving both the Psychology department scholarship and the outstanding graduate award. She is now a licensed Occupational Therapist serving families in the Fresno area.

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