Cecilia Villarruel

Gardena, CA

Western University of Health Sciences

M.S., Physician Assistant,Spring 2019

Cecilia’s parents are fitness enthusiasts and as a child encouraged her love of outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, swimming and riding ATVs. Her love for nature and fitness along with a childhood illness suffered by her younger brother led her to study biology at UC Berkeley with the goal of a career in medicine. She was working diligently towards this goal when a car she was a passenger in rolled over resulting in a spinal cord injury. She took several years to rehabilitate and adjust to her new reality before returning to UC Berkeley to complete her degree. Upon graduation, she gained healthcare experience in a variety of settings and applied to a Physician Assistant program. After graduation, Cecilia hopes to work in the field of neurology or physical medicine and rehabilitation working with people with disabilities using her experience as a patient to help serve others.