Lucia Madero, who will receive her DPT at this week’s upcoming commencement, didn’t have a traditional path to becoming a physical therapist — her journey wound through several careers, three children and two countries.

“I’m different from the other students in my program,” says Madero, who graduates in May. “They wanted to stay at school and hold study groups, while I was always rushing back home.”

Madero, 48, and her husband have three children; their youngest is now 19. While attending school, Madero has juggled clinical rotations, family obligations and, at the start of her schooling, a tragic event.

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