Ariel Fish August SOM

MARIETTA, OH (August 24, 2017)–Life for Tyler County Fair Queen Ariel Fish wasn’t always sparkly crowns and parades. Washington State Community College’s August Student of the Month watched her stepfather struggle with sickness that resulted in the loss of his ability to walk. Watching him work with professionals to regain his gait helped her decide on a career path.

Three years ago the Middlebourne, WV resident found career inspiration as she watched her stepdad re-learn to walk. “We were very fortunate that he was in a hospital that had top of the line therapists and therapy assistants,” expressed Fish. “After seeing him have to learn to walk again, I decided that I wanted to be that person who helps others when they need it most.” And in the fall of 2016, she enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program at WSCC.

Fish, who spent most of her life playing sports, including volleyball, track, and basketball, explained that as an athlete she knows the value of being healthy, but the experience with her stepdad gave her a new appreciation of what it means to enjoy your health. “I quickly learned how your health can be taken away in the blink of an eye.”

Academically, Fish has always excelled. When she enrolled at WSCC, she was awarded the Washington Scholars Award, a scholarship that requires a minimum 3.25 GPA or at least a 23 on the ACT. “I have no doubt that Ariel will be a successful PTA,” said Dr. Dyani Stengel, Director of WSCC’s PTA program. “But that success won’t be just because she’s great academically; she has the ability to make a personal connection with her patients and make them feel comfortable and confident.”

Fish is set to graduate in May 2018 with her Associate of Applied Science in Physical Therapist Assistant Technology.
“Anything is possible,” said Fish. “If you work hard and believe in yourself (even when some may not believe in you) you can accomplish anything.”

For more than 45 years, Washington State Community College has provided residents of the Mid-Ohio Valley the opportunity to realize dreams, to enhance skills, and to broaden understanding. Whether you are a recent high school graduate or an adult student looking to move your life in a new direction, Washington State has the classes to suit your needs. For more information about Washington State Community College, visit www.wscc.edu or call 740.374.8716.