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Student spotlight: Amy Dimas

Amy DimasIMMOKALEE — Being a mother of three school-age children can be a real challenge; homework, dinners and extracurricular activities all take time before bedtime. Amy Dimas, of Immokalee, had to juggle her children’s busy schedules with her own rigorous requirements to graduate from Hodges University in Naples. Despite the obstacles, Dimas earned a bachelor’s degree in health studies in the fall of 2012.

“It took a lot of time management to make sure they were taken care of first,” said Dimas, 29, of Lehigh Acres. “I made sure their homework was done and they were in bed before I started mine.”

 That meant Dimas would get to her own assignments after 9 or 10 p.m., work until the early hours of the morning and then get up to wake the kids for school. It was tough, but she focused on her goal.

Dimas, the daughter of Raymond Garza and Dolores Hernandez Lopez, originally studied massage and became a certified massage therapist, but she couldn’t see herself working as a masseuse for the rest of her life.

“I wanted more out of it,” she said. “I learned massage wasn’t the career for me. I wanted to do more rehab therapy.”

Although the course work was demanding, Dimas enjoyed it. Her biggest challenge was finding the time to study, which she did anywhere she could – even in the car as she waited for her children to get out of school.

Now that she has an undergraduate degree, Dimas plans to get a doctorate in physical therapy at Florida Gulf Coast University. She ultimately wants to open her own physical therapy practice but doesn’t know what she will concentrate on, perhaps pediatrics or trauma. The FGCU physical therapy doctoral program will take three years to complete and includes clinical work, so Dimas will have a chance to experience the different specialties within the field.

Dimas is motivated by her children, Haylie Holloway, 12, Harlie Holloway, 9, and Joshua Dimas, 5, who inspire her to succeed. She knows graduate school will be a challenge, but she will take things one step at a time instead of worrying about future curriculum. She knows she couldn’t have gone this far without the support of her husband, mother and sisters, who helped care for the children when she attended class.

Dimas, who works in the library on the Immokalee Reservation, believes the secret to success is simple enough and is applicable in all areas of life.

“Keep going, keep pushing and don’t dwell on yesterday,” she said. “Don’t ever give up because you’ve come to a rock in the road; just keep going.”

 

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Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at beverlybidney@semtribe.com.
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