May’s Love for Lifelong Learning is Inspiration to Others

May’s Love for Lifelong Learning is Inspiration to Others

WASHINGTON- Stephanie May of Winterville values lifelong learning. After high school she pursued a college education and received her associate’s degree from Pitt Community College in 1998. She then accepted a job as an assistant at an occupational therapy office, but she never let go of her desire to learn. So, it was no surprise that May decided to enroll at the University of Mount Olive (UMO) at Washington in the spring of 2005.

“I wanted to earn my bachelor’s degree to further my career in occupational therapy,” May explained. “A friend at work told about the one-night-a-week program at UMO. I was excited because I could go to school, work, and continue to take care of my family.”

May enrolled in the early childhood program to meld her interest of working with children and her occupational therapy experience.  She graduated from UMO in 2007 with her bachelor’s degree.  She immediately began pursuing her master’s degree in special education, which she completed in December of 2014 from the University of Missouri at Columbia.

“My professors at the University of Mount Olive prepared me for graduate school and provided me with endless educational and professional opportunities,” May said.

May currently works as a certified occupational therapy assistant and owns her own company, Trinity Therapy Services, which provides early intervention to children from birth to age three. Her work consists of providing young children and their caregivers with special instruction services.

“I feel that all of my degrees combined provide me with a holistic understanding of child development. Having a degree in early childhood education and special education gives me a better understanding of children in the areas of cognitive and emotional development. With this knowledge, I implement strategies and interventions for young children,” explained May. “The goal of my work is to provide children with adequate learning opportunities and positively impact their growth. I also work with parents and caregivers to extend these experiences throughout a child’s daily routine.”

May would one day like to open a childcare center for young children.

“I consider myself to be a lifelong learner. Therefore, I am driven by the desire to learn new things and share new ideas,” noted May. “These values have encouraged me through my education and will continue to encourage me as I move forward with my career.”

At age 41, she is hopeful that she can inspire other adult learners to return to college and pursue degrees, like she did with the University of Mount Olive at Washington.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit old.umo.edu.