A Majority of the AWC Massage Therapy Program Graduates Stay in the Yuma Community

Angela Carrillo, President of Fluid Energies Therapeutic Massage, Inc. and her sister, Diana Valerie Robledo, graduated from AWC’s Massage Therapy Program in 2009 and have since opened their own practice in Yuma. The sisters are proud of their time in the program, which they completed in two years. After having successful careers in cosmetology and barbering, they later decided to explore another option together. 
During their time in the AWC Massage Therapy Program, the two were impressed by the small class sizes and the experiences the faculty brought to the classroom.
“I still contact my former faculty, like Kate (Turpin; AWC Professor/Coordinator Licensed Massage Therapy), I’m always calling her and asking for advice on different techniques…” Carrillo said.  “The faculty and staff are always available with real-world solutions and ready for questions even after we graduate.”

It was through the program that Carrillo and Robledo decided they wanted to help others by using the power of their hands and energies.  “We have the confidence in what we do because of the staff and instructors in the AWC Massage therapy Program. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to do what we do,” commented Angela Carrillo.

Kate Turpin, Professor/Coordinator Licensed Massage Therapy, agreed, “Our massage program is amazing because we do honor the heart of each student, ignite and fuel their passion to help others in a meaningful way. Massage therapy is a rewarding career, but also encourages a healthy lifestyle for the practitioner.”

Since the Arizona Western College Massage Therapy Program began in 2004, it has produced over 200 licensed massage therapists. More than 85 percent of those graduates have remained in the Yuma area and about 30 local massage businesses are owned by past AWC students.
“Although this seems like a large number for our community, this is a growing and emerging field and we get calls from potential employers every month looking for therapists,” commented Turpin. “There is still potential to start your own business if desired.”

A certification in massage therapy usually takes students about 3 semesters to complete. Students within the program learn a wide range of skills through hands on chair massage sessions and other classes and events. Anatomy and Physiology and Self-Care for Healthcare Providers are just two examples of the types of classes students can expect to take through the program. Students will also have the opportunity to work closely with other specialty programs at Yuma Regional Cancer Center (oncology massage) as well as with physical therapists and chiropractors.

Having these eye-opening, heart-warming experiences allowed Carrillo and Robledo to reinforce their skills they had learned and apply them to real-world circumstances, while also learning compassion and understanding.

“It really changed my life, laying our hands on the cancer patients made me realize that our hands are healers,” commented Carrillo. 

“We can make a lot of people feel better,” Robledo remarked.  

Those interested in joining the AWC Massage Therapy Program can call (928) 317-6056 or email massagetherapy@azwestern.edu. There are prerequisite classes starting in August and core courses to follow the next two semesters.

There are scholarships available for students interested in the Massage Therapy Program. For more information on financial assistance and applications, contact Kate Turpin, Professor/Coordinator Licensed Massage Therapy, at 928-317-6056 or Kate.Turpin@AZWestern.edu.

Kate Turpin
Professor/Coordinator Licensed Massage Therapy
Arizona Western College

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