Danielle Walker was one of the first WellSpring students to graduate from our new Integrative Massage/Fitness Associate Degree Program and has since been working as a massage therapist. During her time at Wellspring, she earned academic achievement awards in the massage and personal training programs as well as a personal achievement award in massage.
She chatted with us about her time at WellSpring and shared some advice to current students.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? Where are you from, what’s your educational background, etc.?
I’ve lived in Kansas City since I was 16, when my dad retired from the Air Force. I finished high school in Raytown and briefly attended art school in Florida in 2002. I returned to Kansas City and worked a variety of odd and temporary jobs until 2012 when I decided to attend Wellspring.
You were one of the first to graduate from WellSpring’s integrative massage & personal training associate degree program. Why did you decide to enroll in the program in the first place?
At the time I was struggling to make ends meet. I was barely employed and I wanted a better life. I knew I wanted to be self-employed and that I wanted to help people. Wellness felt like the answer.
How does the program give you a leg up in the industry?
The combination makes me attractive to both massage and fitness employers; it was easy for me to find work. It has the side benefit of making me more credible with my clients, who often take my advice seriously and apply it with positive results.
What were the teachers at WellSpring like? Were they supportive, knowledgeable, etc.?
The instructors were great and so accessible! I can still go to any one of them and ask for advice and share my little milestones with them. I appreciated that they were all working in their respective industries because everything we learned was backed up with a real-world example that made it easier to understand each concept. They were very knowledgeable.
What was your favorite part about attending WellSpring?
I feel like I discovered a better version of myself by going to Wellspring, the self who is disciplined, open, curious and excited about life. I met so many people who I found common ground with and made some great friends in the process.
Now that you’ve graduated, what’s next for you?
I’ve been working steadily as a massage therapist since I graduated. I just started my own practice in the Westport neighborhood of Kansas City and I will soon be working as a professional in Wellspring’s student clinic. I also write a blog.
Any advice for new WellSpring students?
If you stay on top of your school work, you will know what you need to know when it comes time to get your credentials. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your instructors and classmates. Talk to everyone because the people around you are your new peers and colleagues. Everyone knows something you don’t and the only way to learn is to have conversations.
Would you recommend WellSpring and why?
I’d recommend Wellspring because attending changed my life and my perspective. When I enrolled, I was only thinking survival. The bonus was discovering my passion for massage and wellness. Now, I’m thriving.