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Physical Therapy & the Community
Novice Level
Even before I started PT school, I demonstrated certain traits.  I was a member of Alpha Phi Omega (a National Co-ed Service Fraternity.)  The cardinal principles of Alpha Phi Omega are: leadership, friendship, and service.  I have always been dedicated to serving.  That is one of the main reasons that I wanted to become a physical  therapist.  I wanted to be able to help others.  
An article stating the cardinal principles of Alpha Phi Omega
One of my fellow students put out a request to us to help raise money for John Hill, who was recovering from having both legs amputated secondary to bypass surgery complications, by throwing some pennies into a jar.  I'm not sure what made we want to help so much.  It could have been knowing what caused him to have his legs amputated, it could have been knowing what challenges he was going to face, it could have been many reasons.  The main thing being that I understand the affective and psychomotor challenges of being disabled, and wanted to do anything that I could to help.
An e-mail showing my willingness to help
My willingness to help the community and others in general draws me to participating in many pro-bono/philanthropic activities.  The evidence that you see is just a portion of everything that I have done while in PT school.  I assisted in many career days.  This allows children to know what physical therapy is.  These children our are future, and they may be future physical therapists.  I also helped Ms. Stern provide first-aid at the Maccabi games, participated in a Leukemia walk, and helped take care of the children at Plymouth Colony.  Like I mentioned this is just a sample of the activities that I did.  Providing service seems to come naturally to me.  When the request is put out for us to help, I can be counted on to step up to the plate.
Miscellaneous pro-bono & philanthropic activities that I participated in as a student of NSU
I also participated in the health fair at Cooper City.  The difference here is that I just didn't "step up to the plate" to help.  Ms. Blackinton asked for volunteers to make signs for the different stations that she was setting up.  Nobody assigned to my station (heart rate/blood pressure) wanted to make a sign.  I however love to be creative and I volunteered to make the sign.  This is the sign that I made.  I didn't want to just print something up on the computer or write on a poster board; I wanted it to look professionally done.  The letter that she wrote me also shows evidence of my professionalism.
Health fair at Cooper City and the sign that I made for the event
Once again, there was a notice on the bulletin board asking for help at a health fair.  As soon as I saw this, I signed up to help.  I also asked Ms. Blackinton if she would like me to make signs for the different stations (I suppose in my mind, I wanted to make sure that the signs were professionally done.)  Ms. B saved my "HR & BP" sign, so I just needed to make signs for the other 3 stations.  Unfortunately, due to circumstances  beyond my control I wasn't able to help in the health fair.  An inquiry seminar was planned for our class for the same morning.  I felt bad because I already committed to this project; I also felt bad because there weren't many PT1's signed up for the activity.  Luckily at the end, she got enough volunteers.
Signs that I made for a health fair at St. David's

Apprentice Level
This journal entry identifies physical and psychosocial barriers that impede the disabled's participation in society.  As an assignment in school, we had to use an assistive device for a day, and write about our experiences.  



Journal entry regarding the use of assistive devices

Proficient Level
I have been a supporter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for quite a few years.  I believe that it is a great organization that does a lot of research and gives a lot of support to people and families of people with MS.  Last year, I decided that I wanted to do something that could help the NMSS even more than just donating money.  I decided to walk in the annual MS walk.  I put an e-mail out to faculty and students to get others to join me.  When I didn't get much support I put out a second challenge, the challenge of sponsoring me in my walk.  With the support of students and faculty, I was able to raise over $500 to help people with MS and their families.  These monetary donations will go towards research, education, and local programs to improve the quality of life of these individuals.



MS Walk - 2000
After one of our fundraising bake sales/lunch sales, we had a lot of extra food.  I suggested that we take some of the extra food and donate it to a homeless center.  This e-mail shows what organization the food went to help.
E-mail stating where we donated leftover food from the bake sale

Distinguished Level
I feel that I am dedicated to research and quality improvement relative to the practice of physical therapy.  I always loved science, but never knew how important research would be to me.  I was "forced" to realize this by having to do a thesis project.  Me along with my thesis group decided to compare the effects of isotonic and plyometric training in the function of the lower extremity.  We wanted to know which training method if any was better.  This would better assist physical therapists in implementing treatment plans.  I also found it important to assisting others in their research projects by volunteering to be a subject.
Abstract from my thesis, and certificates from participating in other student's research projects
Ms. Litwin had a book in her office that she found on an airplane in California.  The book was about fibromyalgia and it had a name/address on the inside.  It was always on the top of her "to-do" list, and I kept teasing her as to when she was going to send it.  Finally, I took it upon myself to write the letter for her, so that we could send it out.  I know what a debilitating disease fibromyalgia is, and I wanted to be sure that this lady received her book.  You can see a copy of the letter and the reply that I got from Ms. Litwin.
Letter that I wrote for Ms. Litwin (with her reply)
October was National PT Month.  Our class had a lot of events planned.  One of these events was going to a local mall and telling people about the field of physical therapy.  During PT month, I told Gary that I would help him in any way possible.  He asked me to help him with the t-shirt ordering.  I handled the project of taking orders and contacting the APTA to make the order.  The more t-shirts that are out there, the more people know about physical therapy.  I was also glad that I could take some of the load from Gary.
PT Month (10/2000)
   
Last May Ms. Blackinton asked for volunteers to help her with a Career Day that she was in charge of.  As soon as I saw this posted on the bulletin board, I expressed my interest in helping her.  I knew that she was in charge of the whole Career Day, not just the PT portion of it.  I knew that would keep her pretty busy, and I knew that I had a week off of school for "spring" break.  I told her that I would help her in any way possible.  Ms. Blackinton not only allowed me to help, but she allowed me to help organize the activity.  This was a great experience for me.  I learned how to organize an activity of this nature and handle the "problems/situations" that come along with it.  I planned activities for the different aged children, made signs, and interacted with all the children during the career day.  You can see examples of the e-mail that I sent Ms. Blackinton expressing my willingness to help, pictures of me at the career day, pictures of the signs that I made, and thank you letters that Ms. Blackinton sent to me.  Although even though I received the thank you notes from her, I was the one that was thanking her.  Ms. Blackinton gave me an opportunity to see something through - from beginning to end. I appreciate the fact that she trusted me enough to help her with such an important project.  The journal that you see goes into a bit more detail about my experiences and thoughts of the career day.
Career day at Gloria Dei Lutheran Academy