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Students to Watch: Jillian Thomas

  • Communications
  • March 23, 2018

jillian thomas


 Jillian Thomas has been working with her hands her whole life. But it wasn't until she saw an ad on LinkedIn for a free intro course to Massage Therapy at Harper College that she had considered a career in massage.


The art of helping others heal can take on many forms. For some, it’s a spiritual practice rooted in prayer or meditation. For others, it’s a science bound to the laws of research and medicine. For Jillian Thomas, it’s a melding of both, manifested through the healing powers of one singular source – her hands.

For as long as she can remember, Jillian has been working with her hands. As a child, offering massages to her friends and family. As a Kennel Technician at an animal hospital, holding and caring for animals. And as a barista at Starbucks, crafting one frothy beverage after another with precision and ease. But it wasn’t until she saw an ad on LinkedIn for a free intro course to Massage Therapy at Harper College that she had considered a career in massage.

 “Once I saw that ad, it all made sense,” she said. “I’ve been working with my hands and helping people my whole life, so what better way to converge those two things than with a career in massage”?



“I’ve been working with my hands and helping people my whole life, so what better way to converge those two things than with a career in massage”?

- Jillian Thomas


The free intro course proved to be just what Jillian needed to affirm her newfound sense of purpose. She learned about the basics and philosophies of massage, and how one is effectively able to materialize their energy and demonstrate their compassion for others by using their hands. Without missing a beat, she enrolled into the program where Harper instructors quickly took notice of her work ethic.

“She’s a pleasure to have in class,” said Jason VonGerichten, Massage Therapy Program Coordinator at Harper College. “I see nothing but great things for her future endeavors, and I think she’ll easily make the transition from promising student to distinguished alumni.”

Jillian will soon be graduating from the program upon which she hopes to apply her sharpened skills and healing hands to help new mothers recover from the stress of childbirth. “Taking care of our moms after they have babies is so important,” Jillian said. “Their bodies are broken and sore, they’re stressed out and sleep deprived, and I really believe that massage could play a critical role in their recovery.” 


 "“I see nothing but great things for her future endeavors, and I think she’ll easily make the transition from promising student to distinguished alumni.”

- Jason VonGerichten, Massage Therapy Program Coordinator


Learn more about our Massage Therapy program here.