A Love Story Years in the Making
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As a #FreshPTA, I’m actually years into my love story with APTA.
When I was still a student, I happened to attend a state advocacy day hosted by the Missouri Chapter. It was amazing to be surrounded by such engaged, excited, and energized people within my profession. You could absolutely feel the energy in the room, it was contagious. I should add that this was my first-ever professional event and even though at the time I didn’t know it, it would become an experience that would lead me to where I am today.
Needless to say I was struck by how amazing this experience was. By taking time out of my day, I was making an impact on our profession. How cool is that?
Finally, while at the event I met many inspiring physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, and students of physical therapy. One student in particular and I connected, and we would collaborate on scholarship and advocacy opportunities.
This same student was interested in service and involvement, and I couldn’t help but follow his lead.
That year, he applied to run on APTA’s Student Assembly Board of Directors (SABoD) and encouraged me to consider running for a position as well.
After talking with some fellow students and some much needed encouragement from my new friend, I took the plunge and was slated as a candidate for that upcoming election cycle.
From there and as required when running for SABoD, I attended APTA’s National Student Conclave (NSC). I’ll do my best to put my experience into words, but I know I won’t do it justice, as it was career altering.
NSC was full of amazing moments, where I formed lifelong relationships that go beyond colleague-to-colleague but instead to friendships that at times resemble a family (shout out to #PTFam). From late-night walks to a Greek diner to an awesome PT Pub Night event on the water, NSC was an experience I’ll never forget. Before you graduate from physical therapy school, attend NSC. I promise you won’t regret it!
Getting to interact with literally thousands of people just as excited about our profession and our association and its core values is something that truly cemented my love for this profession.
Connections, relationships, and experiences, these are the things that made me want to be a part of something bigger. And I can’t wait to continue my love story as a #FreshPTA.
Matt Nape, PTA, is a practicing physical therapist assistant in Colorado. You can connect with Matt on Twitter at @MattNapePTA.
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.