Ellie Shepard

Denver, CO

University of Denver

PsyD. Psychology, Spring 2021

As a child, Ellie was always in motion. Her desire to be active manifested itself in high school water polo and swim team as well as cheerleading. She graduated from Notre Dame High school in 2009 then went on to complete her B.A. in environmental studies from Santa Clara University. Ellie took every opportunity to explore the world, traveling throughout the nation and the world, often solo. She went on to study for a D.C. in chiropractic when a year and 1/2 into the program her career as a chiropractor was cut short when a diving accident (can you elaborate, dive into pool, ocean, scuba etc.?) resulted in C-6 tetraplegia and paralysis from the chest down. Determined that she would walk again she intended to return to school and her career as a practicing chiropractor. It was a sobering and dark realization that she would not walk again and would not have the manual dexterity to practice her chosen field. The only option was to look for other career options. Psychology was the perfect fit. Since her accident, Ellie has lived life to the fullest and has continued to be active in a myriad of sports activities and adventures.  She wants to do more and wants to empower others to do the same.