MARIETTA— Washington State Community College (WSCC) Student of the Month Zarah Stahler is finishing the final days of her Massage Therapy certificate. Though she loves her current career path, it’s much different than her original plan of working with animals.
When she was a student at Warren High School, Strahler was intent on a career where she could help animals and spent much of her free time working for a local pet boarding business as well as volunteering at the humane society. Reality quickly set in when she realized that working with animals isn’t all puppy kisses and wagging tales. The harsh reality is that sickness, death, and euthanizing would be a part of her daily life in that career and was simply more heartbreak than she could take. Ultimately, for her own mental well-being, and her caring heart, she decided to take a step back and regroup.
Striving to find another fulfilling career path, Strahler said it was important that her work focus on helping people. After visiting WSCC and meeting Jackie Krider, the Massage Therapy program director, Stahler knew she found what she wanted to do with her future. “Jackie is so helpful and takes her students’ interests to heart. She told me there is horse and dog massage and I’m very interested in learning more about that. Jackie told me that the anatomy of a horse and dog is a lot like humans. So, I will have to educate myself more about that type of massage.”
As a student, Strahler had the opportunity to massage the owner of the local business, Zenergy Massage. As a result of the skill she displayed, she was offered an internship. “Everyone there has been so helpful and taken me under their wing.” After graduation and passing her licensure exam, she plans to maintain her employment with the company. In the meantime, she’s honing her technique and trying to decide the type of massage she wants to focus on. Among the top choices, she’s considering: sports massage, facial massage, and even, yes, animal massage.
Straher will graduate in the end of July with her certificate in massage therapy and will return in the fall to finish her final year to earn her associate degree in Health and Wellness.