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December Alumni Spotlight Jessica Napoli

Jessica Napoli MOTJessica Napoli, Masters of Occupational Therapy, Barry University, and Boise State Alum

Jessica graduated from Boise State University with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science Studies and a Gerontology Emphasis, along with a minor in Psychology in May 2019.  She received Magna Cum Laude honors and was on the Dean Lists several semesters in a row.  Jessica is a non-traditional student who came to Boise State to pursue Occupational Therapy school.  She is a proud mom of four beautiful children and is happy to be attending her masters’ degree in Occupational Therapy at Barry University.  While attending Boise State, Jessica participated in her courses and was also a recipient of the Jim Plumtree Occupational Therapy Scholarship two years in a row.  Originally hailing for Council, Idaho, we are proud to share her story with you.

Jessica describes herself as:

Dedicated, Hard-working, Adventurous

What are your three most meaningful extracurriculars?

Being a mom to my four kids, volunteering for special needs events, homeschooling my four kids

What are you reading right now?

Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers

Do you think Boise State prepared you for occupational therapy school?

 I’m a non-traditional student. However, I had never attended college before Boise State, and I would say, that professionally I felt prepared to take on this full-time masters program and put my all into it.

What resources did you use at Boise State to prepare you for your OT school?

Because I’m not specifically working in my undergrad field, I will say that I utilized Boise States graduate interview program and received a great deal of help from the Writing Center as I prepared for the GRE and my essays into graduate school. I also received a great deal of support in those areas from my professors and my advisor.

What do you wish you would have known before becoming an OT student?

I wish I had been able to be more informed about OT school and the expectations of knowledge needed that first year of schooling. Maybe some introductory courses before even graduate school would’ve been very helpful.

What would you tell yourself now knowing what you know now about applying to your professional school?

Make the time and effort to practice, study, and really know why you are doing it. When writing your essays, I feel that the schools really want to know why you are wanting this career. What makes you different from the thousands of other students applying for the same program? Let them know you and why you are a great asset to their program. Don’t just sell yourself, but write what you believe to be true of yourself.

What is it like being a student during a pandemic?

It is hard! Because occupational therapy is such a hands on profession, we are missing a lot of those experiences. These experiences are hard to replicate online and it makes you feel unprepared for the upcoming fieldwork. You really have to get creative and put effort into watching videos and connecting with other OT professionals and students to get the experience and knowledge you need.

What do you think was the most important experience you had at Boise State?

Because I’m a non-traditional student, I think my most important experience was being in a class with students of a different generation from me. It was great to see what kind of wonderful, young and world changing students are out there and it helped me grow in my own education and my life as a mom and wife.

What are you most grateful for:

I’m so incredibly grateful for my support system of friends and family while completing both my undergrad degree and now as I’m finishing my Occupational Therapy Masters Program.

Would you like to talk with Jessica more about her experiences? If so, please contact Erin Colburn at