Focused on the Future: Pearson Scholar Looks Ahead to Graduate School

Prior to starting college, I knew my purpose in life was to become an occupational therapist. My educational journey started at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, a small community college in central Kentucky. A turning point came when I was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. One of the perks of membership is access to numerous scholarship opportunities. Within many scholarship applications and lengthy essays, Pearson found me. I was honored to be selected as a recipient of the 2015 Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education.

Becoming the best student I could be

This awesome scholarship enhanced my college experience in several ways. Pearson provided financial assistance, a mentor and textbook assistance. Without all this, I would not have been able to continue my education. My mentor was simply amazing. She edited and proofread countless essays and papers for me and also wrote many letters of recommendations. She offered endless advice and supported me in every decision I made. The support and continued encouragement from her only encouraged me to be the best student I could be.

2015 Pearson Scholars at the Phi Theta Kappa Convention in Baltimore, April 2016.

Establishing connections

One of the my best memories of being a Pearson Scholar was at the 2016 Phi Theta Kappa International Conference in Baltimore. At this conference I was introduced to the Pearson team and fellow scholarship recipients. The conference was great, but the best part about it was building relationships with the Pearson team and colleagues that I will cherish for a lifetime.

Taking the next step

A Master’s degree and state licensure is required to work as an occupational therapist. So when I transferred to EKU as a junior, I knew I would want to apply to graduate school there as well. In addition to letters of recommendation and a minimum 3.0 GPA, applicants are required to take the Health Science Reasoning Test (HSRT). This exam differs from other graduate school admissions tests such as the GRE. The HSRT can be difficult to prepare for because it is designed to test critical thinking and decision making skills. When I scored one point below the benchmark, I worried that I wasn’t going to get acceptance into graduate school. But I persevered and met with the Dean of the department to discuss the score and explain my anxiety issues. I will start my Master’s coursework this fall.

Looking ahead

When someone asks where I see myself professionally in five years, a variety of places come to mind. This is what I love about the occupational therapy field. You can go in many different directions; you don’t have to stay on the path most traveled. I truly love working with children, especially individuals with autism. However, since being at EKU I have had the chance to work in the geriatric population and I love that, too. I can see myself working in a long term care facility with a specialized focus in Alzheimer’s or working in outpatient pediatrics with a focus on autism.

Celebrating accomplishments

Without the support I’ve had from multiple people in my life, I don’t think I would be where I am today. Being able to represent the Pearson student community as a Pearson Scholar has encouraged me and allowed me to celebrate my accomplishments as a student. Often times, we don’t give ourselves enough credit for the hard work we have done or how far we have come. Being accepted in Eastern Kentucky University’s Occupational Therapy graduate program has only made me realize how thankful I am for Pearson and for the support and encouragement from all of my friends and family.




Hannah Floyd is in her final year of undergrad at Eastern Kentucky University where she is studying Occupational Therapy. In the Fall of 2018, she will start the Occupational Therapy graduate program at Eastern Kentucky University. Presently, she is a Student Vice President in her chapter of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Hannah volunteers in her local community. She is also a  photographer and a cake decorator and enjoys spending time with family and friends. Hannah is a 2015 recipient of the Pearson Scholarship for Higher Education.


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