Name: Kasandra Puerta
Location: Port Washington, NY
Occupation: Braincore therapist, amateur hooper, yoga student
Kasandra Puerta grew up knowing that she could do anything she set her mind to, no matter how unique or potentially challenging. This was largely due to her mother’s influence and maternal cheerleading, but also because of the example she set. Kasandra’s mom gave birth to her at a young age, but managed to still graduate college, get a job, and raise her daughter with unwavering attention and affection. This loving and encouraging homelife didn’t make Kasandra’s entire childhood easy, though. She suffered the sudden loss of her father when she was very young, and experienced the blunt end of bullying and isolation in school.
“The biggest challenge I ever faced as a kid was being bullied, especially around the middle school years. It really impacted my spirit, confidence, and determination to do anything. I didn’t understand the point of going out of your way to be mean to someone, I didn’t understand why we couldn’t be friends and get along. As a result of this I had issues with depression,” Kasandra says. “As the years progressed I made some of my best friends and developed fantastic support systems, which made middle school a lot easier.”
With this tough experience under her elementary school belt, Kasandra set her mind to contributing to the greater good and helping people.
“I’ve seen some amazing results with my patients, and they have made some major leaps and bounds that they thought weren’t possible,” she says. “To me that’s the best part of my job, being able to set individual goals with them and having them meet those goals.”[/pullquote]
Today she works with chiropractor Dr. Robyn Croutch assisting with Braincore therapy, which Kasandra describes as “a drug-free approach to dealing with symptoms related to ADD, ADHD, insomnia, depression, and other conditions, all with the use of your brainwaves.” More about Braincore therapy can be found on their website,http://www.braincoretherapy.com/.
Much of her work involves interacting with patients, including children. Some are the very same age that Kasandra was when she went through her middle-school struggles, making the work even more rewarding.
“I’ve seen some amazing results with my patients, and they have made some major leaps and bounds that they thought weren’t possible,” she says. “To me that’s the best part of my job, being able to set individual goals with them and having them meet those goals.”
Beyond brainwaves, Kasandra spends her free time shaking her hips…with a hula-hoop! One night she saw a troupe of female hula artists at a large music festival and was instantly inspired.
“They did it with such passion and rhythm that I felt inspired to learn,” she gushes. “For about a year I’ve been learning as much as I can and practicing.”
Kasandra is just as dedicated to her hobby as she is to her work, taking her hoop for a whirl for about an hour per day following her yoga practice. “Each goal for the day’s hooping practice is different, sometimes I work on hand tricks, transitions from one part of the body to another, or sometimes I just hoop to the rhythm of a song. To me its about personal goals and working at my own pace with hooping. It’s my journey, not a competition,” she says.
As for the future, Kasandra sees it with more than a wiggle in her hips. She plans on furthering her education by pursuing a graduate degree in occupational therapy, where she hopes to have a career working with children.
For using her difficulties to make her stronger and for her super hooping hobby, we think Kasandra Puerta is a really Cool Girl!