After dropping out of the
University of Nebraska-Lincoln after three semesters, Cady Belli worked as a
home health aide. While she accompanied her patient to physical therapy visits
at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, she realized that was her calling.
“The therapists were knowledgeable and passionate
about their jobs,” she recalled. “After a few months I applied to SCC's Physical
Therapist Assistant program to start in this field. The cost and location of
SCC were a huge bonus, as well as the credits I could apply toward
pre-requisites from UNL.”
Belli was a member of only the third PTA class at SCC.
She said the material was rigorous and the teachers were strict, but
supportive. After graduating in 2013, she started working at Eastmont in
Lincoln and continues there today.
“I fell in love with working with older adults during
one of my clinical rotations at a nursing home in Plattsmouth, so Eastmont had
both the clientele and location I was looking for,” Belli said. “Plus my boss, Mark Sunderman, helped guide me from a
very shy but willing PTA to someone with confidence and passion about my job.”
Sunderman nominated Belli for the 2022 Distinguished
Alumni award at Southeast Community College. He said she goes above and beyond
her job responsibilities at Eastmont, and is also a good role model for PTA
students doing their clinical rotations at the facility.
“She is an excellent employee in terms of
dependability, relationships with her co-workers and other departments, and her
skill as a clinician is only getting better,” Sunderman said in his nomination
letter. “She has been outstanding with guiding our students from the SCC PTA
program and other pre-PTA students. She is an excellent clinical instructor.”
As for the future, Belli hopes to finish her
bachelor’s degree at Bellevue University. In addition, she counts her blessings
every day for her sobriety as she overcame mental health and substance abuse
“My residents have taught me that we never know where
our lives will take us or how we'll age, but to just do the best with what we
have. I am very fortunate to be where I am right now,” she said.
Belli received a Distinguished Alumnus plaque in a
ceremony in December at Eastmont.
know of someone who you think should be nominated, click on this link and fill
out the appropriate campus’s nomination form: https://www.southeast.edu/alumni/