ACC-Ontario Graduate Awarded Massage Scholarship


ACC-Ontario Graduate Awarded Massage Scholarship Galley

Winning money never rubs a student the wrong way, especially when it's a full scholarship to learn about massage.

This spring, American Career College-Ontario graduate Austen Hernandez will travel to Washington state for 12 days to study lomilomi, or Hawaiian massage, after being awarded the Lehua Goodwill scholarship.

"Austen was a great student and a perfect choice for this lomilomi immersion retreat. He was one of our top students in the massage therapy program and has a wonderful technique to go along with his incredible life story," ACC-Ontario massage therapy program director Dale Sloan said.

Hernandez, who will graduate with honors at ACC's commencement in March, nearly died in a car accident in 2008. Doctors told his family that he would never walk or talk again. Less than 10 years later, he's made almost a complete recovery and looking to give back to the healthcare field.

"I like massage because we have the ability to help people in pain," Hernandez said. "I know what it's like to go through pain and to have someone there to help you get over it. I think that's very rewarding in my eyes, to help people."

Hernandez said he hasn't decided on exactly what kind of massage career he wants to pursue professionally, which made winning the full scholarship even more perfect. As part of the lomilomi program, Hernandez will learn about the ancient form of massage that incorporates concepts of Hawaiian spirituality, meditation techniques and indigenous values. 

"There's so many windows of opportunity that are opening up," Hernandez said. "I'm going to go out and explore and find out what I want to do. I'm not going to be set on one thing at this point in time. I'm gonna be able to go where I want to go, try different things."

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