The following candidate statement was written prior to Jarrod's election as PTA delegate of the Student Assembly Board of Directors.
Everything I need to know to be a PTA can be learned in the classroom and clinic. However, what I gain by being involved in APTA and the Kentucky Physical Therapy Association (KPTA) will help make me the best PTA I can possibly be. That is why I agreed to be my program's representative to the KPTA. That is why I am going to be a volunteer at Kentucky's first annual Student Conclave in the fall. That is why I am seeking to be slated as Student Physical Therapist Assistant Delegate.
I was granted the opportunity to serve as a volunteer student usher (special assistant to the vice-speaker) during the APTA House of Delegates (HOD) in June 2014. I was one of 16 chosen from across the United States, and the only student chosen from my state.
During the HOD, I sat on the dais, in front of the entire delegation, helping the vice speaker with various tasks. While sitting on the dais something clicked for me. Something that cannot simply be taught in school. I realized the direction of the future of my profession was being laid right before my eyes.
During breaks at the HOD, I began to seek out people to answer my many questions. I met with my chapter delegation several times. I sought their opinion in order to learn the processes of the House from their prospective. Their insight has provided me a treasure trove of information.
I gladly missed lunch and stayed over late after the HOD dismissed so that I could sit-in on PTA Caucus meetings. I knew that attending these meetings would help me to fully understand how the behind-the-scenes happenings affected the meetings during the day. What a difference it made.
I made it a point to meet the SABoD, and talked to them individually. I spoke to them regarding the possibility of seeking to be slated as the Student Physical Therapist Assistant Delegate, and what it would entail. After gathering information from the SABoD I sought out a previous SPTA Delegate, who is now a PTA Caucus representative for a state chapter. I looked to her in order to gain insight about the specifics of the role, from someone who had held the position. I can now say that I fully understand what I am asking for when I ask to be elected as SPTA Delegate.
If elected as SPTA Delegate I will bring the same networking/information gathering approach with me. I will handle all matters the same way I tackled my first HOD and my choice to be slated: by reaching out to all possible sources of information in order to make an informed decision.
Whether elected or not, I look forward to working with fellow SA members, and the SABoD, on many serious issues as an active student member. However, I believe I have the drive needed to take my membership a step further as an effective SABoD team member.