After working as a health fitness professional for HealthFitness, a company that builds and manages comprehensive fitness solutions for organizations, MyOcea Dixon decided to advance her career by pursuing her Master of Science in Sports Science and Rehabilitation (MS-SSR) from Logan University. Currently in her sixth and final trimester, she is one step closer to realizing her dream of opening her own community center.
“I’ve always loved sports,” MyOcea said. “I played rugby and golf in high school and college, so I knew I wanted to do something that incorporated sports and fitness. Although I had earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, I knew I needed the knowledge and the skills that come with a master’s degree in order to take things to the next level.”
In order to complete her MS-SSR degree, MyOcea had to gain hands-on experience through an internship. In September 2021, she started interning at the Ray & Joan Kroc Community Center, a 100,000-square-foot recreation, education, worship and arts center in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.
At the Kroc Center, MyOcea collaborates with the organization’s fitness coordinator to design and implement programs for a variety of age groups. She recently created the Youth Fit program, which teaches children how to work out by providing structured exercises such as relay races and obstacle courses. MyOcea also devised a walking club that encourages older adults to be more active and build relationships with their peers. Additionally, she helps organize and supervise recreation league games, performs administrative work, and comes up with challenges for the center’s Aim to Maintain weight loss program, which helps participants establish healthy habits.
“I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to see firsthand how community centers run, especially the ways they manage their programming,” MyOcea said. “I love designing programs that go hand in hand with recreation and member fitness and that benefit communities in a big way.”
MyOcea’s internship will end when she graduates in December 2021; however, she feels well-prepared to secure a position as an assistant director, program specialist or fitness coordinator at a local community center or gym.
“I’ve really appreciated how Logan’s MS-SSR program reintroduces some of the basic concepts you may have forgotten or needed to brush up on and then shows you how to implement them on a higher level,” MyOcea said. “Online courses have also let me learn at my own pace, which is very helpful since I have a full-time job. With the MS-SSR, I feel confident heading into the next phase of my career.”