Kelli Ford

Kelli Ford

Student, Class of 2017
Major(s): Respiratory Care

Why did you choose this program?

I learned about the Respiratory Care Program (RCP) after applying to a medical imaging program. I was hesitant to switch my major as I did not know much about the field of respiratory care. Respiratory therapists treat all kinds of patients from healthy to critically ill. Since I wanted a predictable job where I knew what would happen day to day, I knew RCP would challenge every part of me. I had my second thoughts, until I learned about cardiopulmonary services including pulmonary rehabilitation and pulmonary function testing. During these classes, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace, and I knew that I found my place. This feeling was intensified when I completed rotations in those departments during my externship. I feel confident that I made the right choice and that I will be very happy with my career.

Why did you decide to join TOP?

I decided to join TOP because I needed all the help I could get. I literally put on the application, “I need all the help I can get.” I was a non-traditional student. I was 29 when I was accepted to Oregon Tech and a super senior attempting to afford college with no financial help. My son was three years old, and I did not have a job. TOP helped me get a job, find scholarships, and held me accountable in many ways. Honestly, I could not have gotten where I am today without TOP.

Is there anything about Oregon Tech that you wish everyone knew about?

I wish students were not scared to ask for help. I wish it was not seen as a weakness to ask for and get help with academic and personal struggles.

What fuels you to succeed?

My family fuels me to succeed. I never saw myself as someone who deserved success. Working with counselors, referred to me by TOP, helped me see that I am worthy of success and that my family will be better off if I accepted that and reached my goals.