Autumn Marshall received her Bachelor of Science in health sciences and Master of Occupational Therapy degrees from Gannon University in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In 2017, she received Gannon University’s Young Alumni Distinguished Alumni Award. Marshall began to pursue her childhood dream of being a missionary to an underserved population. Marshall’s passion for Haiti and children with special needs fueled her first mission trip to the Caribbean in 2007. During that trip she was moved by the plight of children and adults with disabilities. As an occupational therapist Marshall saw the potential in them and began her journey to make a difference in their lives.
Marshall has been the therapy coordinator at the Northwest Haiti Christian Mission’s Miriam Center since 2009. There she works with 32 children who reside at the center and also coordinates a multifaceted outreach center that serves over 350 families with special needs children. She also works with Commission to Every Nation, where she hopes to utilize her occupational therapy experience to develop OT as a medical profession that is recognized and utilized in Haiti.
Marshall partnered with the leading Rehab Technician Program (equivalent training to a PTA/COTA in the States) in 2013 and more recently partnered with the first bachelor’s-level occupational therapy program in Leogane, Haiti. She currently serves as the President and Alternate Delegate of the National Haiti Association of Occupational Therapy. Marshall has also been working with several partners and students on building necessary rehabilitation equipment out of resources that can be found in Haiti. More recently, Marshall is collaborating with multiple organizations across Haiti and using her work at the Miriam Center as a model to help them improve therapy for their work with children with special needs.
As of February 2013, Marshall resides full-time in Haiti. In just a short time, she has been able to positively impact a number of children and their families. Marshall’s dream is that every child with special needs in Haiti will receive the therapy and support they need and deserve because they are visible and valuable members of society; that nationals will be trained and equipped as therapists and that therapy will be recognized as a medical necessity and thus be integrated into Haiti’s medical systems.