Degree: Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
College/School: Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Texas native Jimmie Wilbourn came from a military family with members serving in every branch. Upon high school graduation, Jimmie enlisted in the Air Force and has traveled to over 20 countries across the globe on Air Force missions over his eight years of military service.
While stationed in Hawaii, Jimmie wanted to pursue “something more,” and began searching for a next career step that combined his passion for helping others and traveling the word.
Jimmie enrolled at FIU in 2016 to pursue a master’s degree in occupational therapy. He was drawn by the program’s international fieldwork opportunities and the flexibility to continue his Air Force service as a C-17 aircraft loadmaster for operational and humanitarian support missions to evacuate displaced civilians and provide basic human resources. Jimmie shared his fieldwork and military experiences to push for the culturally competent practice of the discipline in an international occupational therapy newsletter article reaching 129 countries.
Although he has traveled the world, Jimmie’s career inspiration came from none other than home. He grew up assisting his grandparents around the house. He was humbled and inspired by helping them gain the strength and confidence to accomplish everyday tasks. He said that helping his grandparents feel empowered and independent led him to “help other grandparents around the world feel the same.”