Many Different Ways to be an Active Member
1 minute read
I learned about the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) when I started physical therapy school, but I wasn't hooked right away. I was skeptical about forking over $90 of my student loans just to be a member, when no one could explain to me why I should be a member. So I waited until I decided to go to the North Carolina Physical Therapy Association's (NCPTA's) fall conference and wanted the member discount. There, I was introduced to a couple of students who would soon become lifelong friends. They laid the foundation of my #PTfam.
For the first time, I felt like I could relate to people who were passionate about our profession outside of the classroom walls, and were studying physical therapy just like me. I had a sense of belonging. My journey of involvement began there. I served on the NCPTA Student Special Interest Group and continued to learn more about what membership meant.
My involvement became my escape from the stress of physical therapy school. I was constantly connecting with my #PTfam on social media and attending advocacy events nearby. There were so many opportunities for students that I didn't know about, and I wanted all of my classmates to have the same discovery that I did.
But it wasn't that easy. I used a lot of my energy trying to get others as excited about conferences and #XchangeSA chats, but there was pushback. Going to conferences, I learned that I wasn't the only one who was feeling this way.
The best advice on this matter was given by APTA President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, at the Student Assembly General Membership Meeting at a national conference. Her words stuck with me: "You can't shame others for not being involved. They have to figure it out for themselves. They will be curious about the excitement you exude. Let them come to you."
Since then I have been less worried about converting my classmates and more about showing value by example. My journey has lead me to serve as director of membership on APTA's Student Assembly Board of Directors. This has given me the opportunity to continue to demonstrate value and connect with more students. There are many different ways that you can be an active member.
If you are reading this and want to know more about where your "why" fits into membership, we should chat!
Want to share your APTA love story? Submit it here! Haven't had such an experience or moment? We encourage you to contact Kaylee Pobocik, SPT, Director of Membership, APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors to discover APTA value and opportunities.
Kaylee Pobocik, SPT, Director of Membership, APTA Student Assembly Board of Directors, is a student at Elon University. You can connect with Kaylee on Twitter at @KayleePobocik.