Degree: Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
College/School: Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences
As a child in Nicaragua, Nicte Orozco observed first-hand how her mother cared for her grandmother, who lost most of her mobility to arthritis. Little did she know that helping her grandmother with everyday tasks would be the precursor for a career in occupational therapy.
Nicte’s interest in healthcare grew while volunteering as an intepreter with “Save a Generation,” a Christian ministry nonprofit that sends medical staff and services from the U.S. to help rural families in the remote areas of Nicaragua.
With her parents’ blessing and her oldest son’s encouragement, she made the hard decision to leave her three children to come to the U.S. to study, in hopes of a better future for all of them. Along the way she faced more adversity, including losing her mother to cancer and an unstable living situation that had her living in her friends’ parents’ homes while she put herself through school.
Still, she persevered. After receiving her associate degree from Miami Dade College in 2015, Nicte graduated with her bachelor’s in health services administration from FIU which led her to pursue a master’s in occupational therapy. Recalling her grandmother’s struggles, she was drawn to the profession’s mission to help people manage their health conditions to maintain their functional independence.
Today, Nicte is closer than ever to her goal of reuniting with her children here in the U.S., and her dream of starting a nonprofit of her own to serve underprivileged families around the world.