Change: An Endless Journey   Submitted by: Rebecca Lopez, RT Alumni, RT Professor, KU Jacksonville

Change is a constant in everyone’s life. It is unpredictable and can have either a positive or negative affect. I have experienced both to varying degrees and at this time wish to share one of the more significant positive changes.

First let me introduce myself. My name is Rebecca Lopez; I am a wife, mother, and grandmother, to put into perspective the possibilities of change that I might have experienced without sharing my age. I hail from the lower end of Manhattan, where challenges abound and dreams are rarely fostered. I had the honor to have had two very caring and motivational instructors who took a dynamic interest in me at a young age. They encouraged me and believed in my potential. They instilled in me the desire to attain any goal I set my mind on and to always remember to pay it forward when it was my turn.

As I mentioned, life is about challenges and although my heart was set on a different path, my circumstances steered me in another direction. It was only after my children had grown and left the nest that I was finally at liberty to go for my dream, a medical career. At an age where most would be looking forward to planning their retirement, I was looking forward to planning the second iteration of my life, my career. Now the challenge was to seek out an institution that would provide me with the education and support I would need to achieve that goal. Trust me when I say I did my research for months to find the best of the best.

I generated a list of possibilities and made impromptu visits to meet with the counselors of those selected. It was during one of these visits that I came to find Keiser University. The counselors were so informative and supportive during and after my initial meeting with them. They provided me with several options in which to achieve my goal. The caring and professional nature of everyone I came in contact with at KU made my decision easy. So I started attending KU full time.

From the very first class I felt the respect, professionalism, the caring and support of the faculty. I knew I had made the correct choice. Each instructor and staff member was there to help aid in my success. They encouraged and worked with me towards my end goal. When I graduated they exhibited as much pride in me as did my family. After working in my chosen career for some time I found myself offering the same support and motivation to clinical students that crossed my path. It was my turn to help and nurture the next generation. I did not know that an opportunity would present itself for me to return to where my journey began. The cycle of change would turn and it would be my time to join the ranks as an instructor. It would be my turn to pay it forward.

When offered the chance I did not hesitate. I remember how much the university did for its students and the community. The university helps and supports its students to success and the achievement of their life goals. I remembered what my early teachers told me. “When it is your turn, pay it forward”. With great pride I joined the university as an instructor in the RT department. I joined the ranks of a caring and supportive faculty. I returned full circle to where my journey began to help others along theirs. Change is inevitable. All that matters is how well you take on the challenge.