– Kristen Brewer walked across the stage first when the Pearl River Community College occupational therapy assistant class received their pins.Right behind her came Steven Brewer, marking the first time an uncle and niece completed the program at the Forrest County Center.The Petal residents enrolled in the same program by coincidence.We both had similar interests as far as getting into the medical field, said Steven Brewer, 46. I had to delay getting back in school because we had three sons to put through school.Kristen Brewer, 20, saw what occupational therapists do after her maternal grandmother suffered a stroke a few years ago.Watching them work with her made me want to do it, she said.She called going to school with her uncle exciting.It wasnt weird at all, she said. It was weird to other people. Weve always been pretty close.As an older student, Steven Brewer adjusted quickly to being back in school.At first, it was kind of nerve-wracking and challenging, he said. I kind of felt out of place. Within the first week, things kind of jelled.He has been hired at Memorial Hospital of Gulfport while his niece is pursuing job possibilities.The Brewers were among 22 graduates of the two-year program who received pins in a ceremony on Monday, May 16, at the Lowery A. Woodall Advanced Technology Center and graduated from PRCC the following day.Students receiving awards at the pinning ceremony were Robyn Lewis of Brandon, Occupational Therapy Scholastic Award; Scott Tisdale of Hattiesburg, Challenge Award; Lauren Wolfarth of Petal, Transformation Award; Steven Brewer, Outstanding Occupational Therapy Assistant Student Award; Christina Floyd of Hattiesburg, Mississippi Society of Occupational Therapy Assistants Scholarship Award.Other graduates are Carla Finnegan Keeton, Megan Fuchs and Kimberly Minter, all of Hattiesburg; Brantley Davis and Moses Harvison, both of Sumrall; Marcus Doby and Markeist Sanders, both of Moss Point, Larry Graham and Matt Sumrall, both of Purvis, Amanda Buffalo of Foxworth, Taryn Dyess of Petal, Miranda Hurst of Biloxi, Brittni Jackson of Natchez, Carrie Jarrett of Groonwood, Tina Lee of Poplarville and Kristin Wheat of Smithdale.Tim Pulver, OTR/L is program director, and Diane Stringer, COTA/L is clinical instructor and field work coordinator.
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