From being placed in unique clinical locations to having impressive involvement in her program, Melanie is finishing her program with a handful of great experiences. She has proven herself as a leader in her program, by being her class president, and outside of the classroom, through all the organizations she is involved with. Check out below why Melanie was nominated as a SPT Spotlight, and be sure to follow our Facebook page for notifications when another Spotlight is featured!
“From the beginning of PT school, I have been involved in a recently developed program at our school called "GoBabyGo." This is a program that Physical Therapy students and Engineering students have teamed up to modify power wheel cars for kids with disabilities. Within this last year, I have been given the role as the PT Liaison to recruit new members into the program. It has been a great opportunity to get involved with hands-on experience with kids with disabilities as well as learning how to partner with engineering students to find ways to adapt the cars based on the needs of the child. Another program that I have been highly involved in throughout PT school, is an Adaptive Swim Class through our local YMCA. This program is for kids with disabilities, 18 and under, to learn basic swim skills or receive aquatic therapy. We have worked with kids with a wide variety of diagnosis such as Cerebral Palsy, Spina bifida, autism, down syndrome and athetoid CP. Both of these programs have made my love for the pediatric population grow immensely and have allowed me to get out of the classroom and gain hands on experience. I highly suggest anyone who has the opportunity to volunteer for programs like these, to take a break from studying and gain some hands on experience!
Being a native of Vancouver, BC Canada, the mountains and ocean hold a special place in my heart, which is not something that Kansas has to offer. I have had the opportunity to travel a little bit throughout my clinicals. My first 8 week summer rotation, I went to a small town just outside of Salt Lake City, UT. This summer, I completed my 10 week rotation in a small town in northern New Mexico called Farmington, NM. My fall 10 week clinical will be in a small town just outside of Denver, CO. This summer while in New Mexico, I have been given the opportunity to continue my passion of fitness and softball to help coach private softball lessons, run fitness training classes and private sessions, as well as help run a softball/baseball program for kids with special needs.
Although PT school alone is a very stressful time, I have found that taking time away from your books helps the mind not burn out. By volunteering with these programs, helping coach softball, travel, and do CrossFit daily, I have had a fantastic last few years. My advice for PT students is to step away from the classroom, get out and volunteer, do whatever you can to get hands on experience, and most importantly continue to do the things you love.” -Melanie Rowson, SPT
I believe Jordan deserves to be featured in the Spotlight to show that PT students can do so much to help people; not just in our own family or community but around the world too! Jordan is an amazing young woman with an amazing story that deserves to be shared! - DPT Student @ Univ. of Saint Mary
Jordan is proving herself as a leader, giver, and an impact to the community. She has impressive experience with traveling to Haiti to volunteer her time at an orphanage where she helps treat young children with disabilities! This year Jordan has put together a group of classmates to join her on a trip to Haiti. Check out below why Jordan was nominated as a SPT Spotlight, and be sure to follow our Facebook page for notifications when another Spotlight is featured!
“After graduating with my Bachelors, I planned to start the DPT program immediately, however, like many of us, I was not accepted that first year after undergrad. So, I did what most hopeful PT students would do and sought to gain more experience in the field. While I wasn’t necessarily looking for the opportunity, I stumbled upon an orphanage in Haiti that was looking for summer interns. For two months I worked with thirty-eight children, both special needs and able-bodied, at Notre Maison/St. Joe’s Orphanage in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti. I assisted with therapy, helped the nannies with daily care, planned and implemented summer activities, as well as took children to doctor’s appointments and orthotic fittings.
Taking that leap of faith and traveling to Haiti has been life changing. In fact, it’s hard to put into words the impact the country and children have had on me. Haiti is a place like no other, filled with a rich culture and hope. The people are filled with a zest for life and will do anything to lend a helping hand. I have seen pure joy on a child’s face when he stands for the first time or gets her turn to ride the one bike in the orphanage. I have learned how stepping away from what is familiar to me for a short moment can change another person for a life-time.
Since returning home, I have been serving on the orphanage’s advisory board, where I co-manage their website, social media, and quarterly newsletter. The children and country of Haiti have had such an impact on me that I plan to travel and assist the children for the rest of my life. As PT’s, we are given a skillset that can help so many. Sometimes the biggest difference can be made with one little step outside our comfort zone.
If you are interested in the orphanage or interning, please check our website at https://gertrudesorphanage.weebly.com or feel free to email me at Jordan.firstname.lastname@example.org I’d love to chat with you!”
Aside from being a leader in his PTA program at Kansas City Community College, Eddie is also impacting the PT field with involvement and advocacy through numerous avenues outside of the classroom. Check out below what a colleague wrote about this student, and why he was chosen to be featured as a SPTA Spotlight!
"Eddie Ernst is the embodiment of a student advocate. He not only gives a voice for the physical therapy profession but also PTA students. He is a great role model and strives to promote PTA students across Kansas. Eddie is currently a PTA student at THE Kansas City Community College. After his 1st semester of PTA school, Eddie was nominated for the APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors for the position of Director of SPTA Relations. Although he wasn't elected to that position, he took that passion and drive and directed it at the KPTA where he currently serves on the public relations committee and student special interest group as the SPTA liaison.
Eddie loves helping to connect fellow PTA/PT students alike and create opportunities for collaboration. His advocacy is shown through a podcast, “The PTA Tapes”, that he co-hosts with a fellow PTA from North Carolina. The podcasts gives a unique perspective to physical therapy through the lens of PTAs. He also interns with PT PubNights where he organizes candid meetings and conversations between students and Physical Therapists. One of his favorite things to do is talk shop with colleagues and spread the word of physical therapy advocacy!"
You can check out Eddie's involvement and activity in the PT community by following him on twitter at @EddieErnstSPTA!
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