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Natalie Abraham '17


LEAP Leader

Finding a New Path

While taking calculus, biology and chemistry during her first year at Spring Hill to prepare for an aspiring career in physical therapy, Natalie Abraham struggled. The Memphis, Tennessee, native knew a change was needed and turned her sights to psychology — finding both a mentor and a new path.

At the same time, she became more involved, joining the SpringHillian Ambassador program and becoming a tutor in logic, statistics and social sciences. These new experiences helped her find her place on campus.

“If knowledge is half the battle of life, the other half, to me, is application and reflection.”

Abraham took a variety of classes, all leading her to a new major in psychology and a double minor in philosophy and health science. Through a philosophy course, she discovered a passion for intersectionality and social justice. Through her Field Experience class, in which she spent 120 hours participating in an occupational therapy internship, she began to realize and appreciate how the knowledge she was gaining from her various classes works together to make her more well rounded in providing care for her patients. For example, she saw first-hand how information from her nutrition class could enable her to help the mother of a struggling newborn learn the right things to eat. Another internship with Bay Area Clinical Associates allowed her to engage with therapists there and apply what she was learning in a counseling class. “If knowledge is half the battle of life, the other half, to me, is application and reflection,” she said.

In her senior year, she also became a leader for the Learning, Engagement, Awareness & Personal Growth (LEAP) program, an experience through which she found herself leading the curriculum for a LEAP lab for first-year SHC students. The experience offered her the opportunity to help freshmen successfully maneuver through and learn from some of the same challenges she encountered during her own journey on The Hill.

Abraham’s next step on her chosen career path in occupational therapy is graduate studies at Louisiana State University in the fall. Overall, Abraham sees her time spent at Spring Hill as focused mainly on one trend: people. People helped her find her way. She has learned about people through her classes, and she has put herself in positions to help others –through various service experiences and as her time as a LEAP leader. And, she only sees this trend continuing as she continues on her vocational path.

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