Inspired by her nieces, Chanel Becker is on a mission to help disabled adults thrive
Chanel Becker’s path to Occupational Therapy began when she was around eight years old. Her niece, Malayna, was born with a rare genetic disorder which caused cognitive and motor disabilities, so she received in-home care from occupational therapists. Chanel was fascinated. “It looked so interesting and I saw the difference it made, so I chose to become one myself,” she says.
Today, the 25-year-old Eldorado native is a graduate of the FVTC Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) program (2020). Inspired by Malayna (now 19 years old) as well as another niece, Kinsey, who has severe autism, Chanel is on the cusp of launching two businesses in Rosendale to meet a local need for care centers, with her father and sister by her side.
Onward Adult Day Center will provide services for cognitively impaired adults in a community-based group setting. These services are available to adults who have aged out of the school system, but still need help in a safe environment outside the home during the day.
“There are only two other adult day centers in Fond du Lac County that are licensed through the state,” explains Chanel, so they hope to create a community of adults from nine surrounding high schools. “We want to create a place where people can not only receive personal and daily care, but also a place of safe, fun and goal-driven opportunities to help enhance their quality of life.” They plan to start building this summer.
At the same time, Chanel and her dad are also in the process of taking over ownership of a Rosendale assisted living facility. She is currently learning all she can about the residents, staff and everything involved in operating a community-based residential facility.
Chanel found Fox Valley Technical College after graduating from UW-Stevens Point with a bachelor's degree in Health Science, Pre-OT. “Originally I was planning to go on to grad school,” she says. “However, when I discovered the OTA program at FVTC and realized it was so much more hands-on, I was hooked. It was perfect for me."
“Coming to FVTC provided the whole foundation for my life right now,” she adds. “Fox Valley Tech is very focused on you and what you’re trying to achieve. My instructors instilled so much confidence in me.”