Cabeza Looks to STLCC for Transition from Preschool Teacher to Physical Therapist
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
For Heather Cabeza, the decision to return to school was an easy one. A gymnastics coach and former preschool teacher, Cabeza enrolled at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood, determined to launch a new career as a physical therapist.
“I love kids, and I’m proud to have earned my bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Webster University,” she said. “While I always thought I’d spend my career in the classroom, that experience actually sparked my desire to explore a career in physical therapy.”
As a teacher, Cabeza met kids from all walks of life, including a few who faced mobility challenges. It was those kids, and the positive strides they made through therapy, that prompted her to make the change.
“It was amazing to see the progress they made because of the physical therapy services they received,” she said. “That experience opened my eyes to the important work performed by physical therapists, and it showed me how I could blend my love for kids and sports into a new career.”
To make this dream a reality, Cabeza turned to STLCC. Currently, she’s a general transfer studies student who is working to complete the prerequisites for admission into a doctorate program in physical therapy.
“I’m really glad I chose to make STLCC part of my educational journey,” she said. “I’ve received quality instruction in my classes, and I’ve met some incredible people through my involvement on campus that have made this a positive experience.”
Cabeza is on track to complete her studies at STLCC in May 2021. In the meantime, she continues to take an active role in campus life by serving as president of Wildwood’s Beta Rho Epsilon chapter of Phi Theta Kappa and as a member of science club. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with her family. She also coaches gymnastics at Olympia Chesterfield, where she’s involved with the facility’s new E-Learning Support day program for kids.