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Meet first-year student Koob Moua, MSOT/S '16

10/22/2014

Koob Moua, MSOT/S '16, from Sacramento, CA

What brought you to OT and what do you want to do with your degree?
After seeing how much my grandmother was negatively affected by her stroke, I developed a burning passion for occupational therapy. I realized how my cultural background and family’s lack of health literacy deprived my grandmother of her two most valued occupations, communicating and taking walks. I still have a sense of guilt for not being able to assist her in any way due to being away for my undergraduate years and continuing until now in my early graduate career. Although I am burdened with this guilt, I want to use my skills and knowledge as a future OT to assist, educate, and advocate for individuals experiencing a disabling situation.

What do you like best about your classmates?
What I appreciate most about my classmates are their humble attitudes along with their passion for becoming future OTs. I find myself working very easily with my classmates and this is a great sign for being collaborative colleagues for the rest of our careers together.

What do you think of living in St. Louis?
St. Louis has been a strange change the past month after transitioning from California. I like what St. Louis has to offer as well as becoming more involved in the community and gaining a better understanding of the St. Louis culture. It seems like a promising community for the next couple years.

What story does your family frequently tell about you?
I grew up as the youngest child with nine siblings. This has served as an advantage and disadvantage in many aspects. One of the stories that I was frequently told about was the possibility of me being an adopted child. My siblings, still to this day, try to convince me that I was adopted and picked up from a park. I believed this story up until I grew into my face. My father has a picture of himself working construction before his transition to the U.S. when he was 21. I realized that I bore a strict resemblance to my father compared to my other brothers. The story continues to be told during Thanksgiving dinner.

Tell us about something you are involved in (or were) and how it’s changed you?
I became involved in the cross-country team during high school, which changed the way I think, behave, and work. Long runs have helped my temperament; I am able to reason through situations with a sensible and clear mind. My behavior became more assertive through my role of team leader. I obtained the role of leader not by force, but rather, I was nominated by my teammates because of the qualities they saw in me. My work ethic has changed in the sense that I believe nothing is going to be given by anyone unless you put in the effort yourself. I was never going to improve my ability to run faster if I had not put in the effort during practice. Similarly, I would not have been successful in academics if I had not put in the hours of studying.

What is something you learned in the last week?
I learned that opening an ear or lending a hand can make the biggest difference in another person’s life.

What word describes you best?
Resilient.

What drives you every day?
My family, partner, and current state of being motivate me daily to be better. Several individuals are born into an environment flooded with toxic stress in which they have no control over. I am grateful of my current position and will take advantage to get the best out of my education here at WUOT. If I don’t do the best to my ability, given the facilities provided by WUOT, I will not only being doing myself a disservice, but also to the individuals that tried to get into the program offered here at WUOT.

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