'Yo soy APTA'
Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes
Last summer I met Johanna Segura, PT, DPT. She told me about her experience with APTA and I remember being on the edge of my seat the entire time.
This led me to exchange emails with Greg Hartley, PT, DPT, who invited me and my cohort from the University of Puerto Rico to join the Florida chapter's student conclave in Miami.
And similar to the excited beginnings of most love stories, my classmates and I knew that we had to keep engaged and stay involved.
Next thing I know, my classmates and I arrived in Providence, Rhode Island, for APTA's National Student Conclave (NSC).
While at NSC I met many students and new professionals who began to fuel my passion and love for this profession and my goals to serve as a leader in Puerto Rico and abroad.
When I left Providence I felt like I knew that I wanted to stay engaged and get involved, but I needed more guidance. One contact led to another, and I was then appointed as Core Ambassador for Puerto Rico.
The fire had been sparked, and sure, I could've called it quits feeling like I now have this position and I've made it, but I didn't. It was like all of these experiences and connections poured gas on that fire and it just kept growing.
I knew that I wanted to attend Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) 2019 in Washington, DC. Again, a group of my classmates and I jumped at the opportunity to attend the profession's biggest conference knowing that it would continue to fuel our passions and excitement for the physical therapy profession.
My experience at CSM was beyond words. I met students and professionals just like me. I guess you could say again, I'd found my people.
Then came APTA's Student Assembly general membership meeting at CSM, where my value to APTA became more than clear.
President Sharon Dunn, PT, PhD, spoke to the students in attendance and at the end she opened the floor for questions. With my heart beating faster than I can describe, I stood up and introduced myself. While I was speaking, she stopped me and said, "I know who you are and I've heard a lot about you. You and I have to talk."
That small exchange transformed me. And thankfully, my story is not yet over, because I plan to remain engaged and fired up.
"Yo soy APTA."
Kelvin Lorenzo Rivera, SPT, currently attends the University of Puerto Rico and serves as core ambassador for Puerto Rico. You can connect with Kelvin at @KlorenzoSPT.
View more APTA love stories. 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.