Guest Post By CeCe Todd, for the East Valley Institute of Technology
EVIT alum Hannah Johansson became a licensed massage therapist because she wanted to help people. Along the way, she discovered that she loves working with pregnant women, so now, she’s getting ready to become a trained doula and start her own perinatal massage business.
“Each experience I have with a soon-to-be mama is so wonderful and rewarding,” said Johansson, 20, who completed the East Valley Institute of Technology’s Massage Therapy program in 2018 and has worked as a licensed massage therapist at Gilbert’s Willow Massage and Spa ever since. “Getting to be a part of the process of bringing new life into the world is a blessing I’m grateful for and look forward to every day.”
One year of training in EVIT’s Massage Therapy program was all it took to launch Johansson into a career right after high school. The massage program is one of more than 40 career training programs EVIT provides for high school students and adults who reside in the East Valley. High school programs are tuition-free; adults pay tuition, with financial aid available in several programs for those who qualify.
Given her background, Johansson’s career path isn’t surprising. Her father was a massage therapist before starting a remodeling company, and her mother had home-births for all five of their children. As the oldest, Johansson was present for the births of most of her siblings.
“Because I want to be part of the labor/delivery scene, becoming a doula is the perfect option,” she said. “I will become trained in the basics of childbirth, which I have been around all my life … and will have enough knowledge under my belt to safely assist a mother and midwife or doctor however they need me. But I will primarily be there to help the mother relax.”
EVIT Massage Therapy students study Western and Eastern massage modalities, including Swedish, sports, chair, hot stone and reflexology. Their coursework also includes anatomy and physiology, pathology, hygiene, ethics and business practices. They prepare for state certification by completing 700 hours of hands-on training in the public clinic on the EVIT Main Campus and at community events.
“I got my massage education for free other than a few class fees,” Johansson said. “Many of my coworkers are still paying off student loans, and I’m free of debt, have a pretty sustainable income and absolutely love what I do.”
“I know plenty of people who have used the skills they’ve learned at EVIT as a stepping stone to get them through college or further their ultimate career goals,” she added. “Even if it’s just some extra knowledge under your belt, it’s 100% worth it to at least try something out.”
In addition to starting her doula training and a perinatal massage business, Johansson is also getting married soon. “My hope is to eventually, by the time I start having my own kids, to be able to solely focus on freelancing as I want to be a stay-at-home mom,” she said.
EVIT students have a 98% high school graduation rate, 2 out of 3 go on to college and approximately 94% are in jobs, college or the military within a year of completing their training. Enrollment for 2021-22 is under way. Enroll: www.evit.com/enroll
Hannah’s Career Path:
- Completed home-schooling and EVIT Massage Therapy program in 2018
- Earned massage therapist license
- Worked at Willow Massage & Spa
- Took a few continuing education courses in massage modalities
- Starting training to become a doula
- Goal: Own and operate a perinatal massage business
Get started on a career while in high school:
- EVIT programs are a half-day for one to two years for juniors and seniors, so students should take classes required for graduation early in high school to save room for EVIT
- Check out options at www.evit.com/programs
- Request more information at www.evit.com/requestinfo
- Contact an EVIT recruiter – Cassi Perez at (480) 461-4162 or [email protected] or Blair Howland at (480) 461-4036 or [email protected]
- Enroll at www.evit.com/enroll
How to enroll in high school programs at EVIT:
- Complete and submit application online at www.evit.com/enroll
- Parents/legal guardians of new students will need an active email account to access and use the online registration system
- Upload attendance record, discipline record, current unofficial transcripts and proof of immunizations
- Admissions office will inform students via email once application is approved or if more information is needed
- EVIT is for all high school students – public, charter, private or home-schooled – who reside in one of 11 East Valley school districts: Apache Junction, Cave Creek, Chandler, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Higley, J.O. Combs, Mesa, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, Tempe
- More information: Call (480) 461-4108
How to enroll in adult programs at EVIT:
- Schedule appointment to meet with an advisor by calling (480) 461-4110
- Complete online application form at https://weareevit.formstack.com/forms/adult_app
- Tuition rates vary by program. Apply for financial aid by visiting www.fafsa.ed.gov and using school code 035723
- Send questions about financial aid to [email protected]
- More information: Call (480) 461-4110