Desirae Ellison Shares Her Experience at CRSMT

Desirae Ellison Shares Her Experience at CRSMT


Desirae Ellison of Fayetville, West Virginia left her life as a whitewater rafting guide to pursue her dream of a career in massage therapy. In this video, she discusses her experience studying abroad in Costa Rica. She finished the 600 hour massage therapy curriculum in late April of 2018 and plans to return to West Virginia to open her private practice.

Here’s what she has to say:

“My name is Desiree Ellison and I’m from the Fayetteville area of West Virginia. A little bit about myself – before coming here I was a whitewater rafting guide and wanted something that I could help people with. But, I was looking for growth myself and something to just accentuate my wife that was already beautiful.

I wound up coming to Costa Rica because I was looking for somewhere where I could just be totally immersed into the studies and somewhere where I could put my feet in the sand and swim in the ocean and be in the sun and be in an environment that supported my learning and this was kind of all of the above. I’d looked at it for a year or so and everything in my life just kind of kept bringing me back to it, and then one day I was like I’m doing it!

The jungle is incredible – howler monkeys in the trees. Probably one of my favorite days of Anatomy class was when an anteater just walked right up by the the outdoor classroom and it was just really cool. There’s always birds chirping here in Samara – the animals and the wildlife and iguanas it makes for a really good environment.

I knew that I would get to know a few people but I had no idea the friendships I would make here. In Casa Tucan we have built the best relationships with women that I see as sisters now. We have helped each other grow, we’ve held each other while we cried, we’ve screamed together, we’ve laughed together, we’ve made it through the struggles and through the good times and they are some of the sweetest humans that I feel like I’ve ever met and I love them so much.

Some of my hardest moments were through Anatomy and Kinesiology I. I didn’t really have an idea of how intensive it was gonna be – I just kind of jumped right in. It’s kind of hard to know until you’re here and you go through it. Anatomy is not something that I’ve really ever had a huge desire to learn or had a passion for, but one of the things that helped me get through was the incredible instructor Sandy Anderson. She was the best. She made me interested in things that I had absolutely no interest in learning, and she helped us get through and helped us have faith in the process.

She really made it an interactive class to where you could do hands-on and it really just helped lodge it in your brain. She’s like Miss Frizzle  – I mean if you ever seen the Magic School Bus; she’s Miss Frizzle and it was awesome. And, the other thing that helped me get through the hard times and hard classes are the relationships that I’ve made here with people. Everybody’s been really really supportive from the staff to the roommates to the classmates. Everybody’s really here to help each other succeed and to help you make it through.

There’s nothing more rewarding for your life, for your career, for your soul, or for your heart than making that leap into the unknown, and just kind of having faith that every step you’re gonna be supported, and you’re gonna be okay.

There’s nothing more rewarding than having faith in yourself that you have what it takes to make it – don’t forget that no matter what.”


We’re so appreciative of Desirae’s willingness to share her experience. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to our Youtube Channel to get more great news and stories.

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