I clearly remember sitting across from a Student Assembly director at dinner on my first night of the Federal Affairs Forum, listening to her describe the responsibilities of the Board. All I could think was, "Well, I'll never have time for that." I figured that being a good student and attending a conference was all that was needed from me. However, after witnessing the behind-the-scenes frenzy of federal advocacy and the immense dedication from students at the forum, something clicked in my head. Physical therapy motivates me in ways that I had never imagined, and failing to work for its advancement because I’m wary of a time commitment would simply be an excuse!
After the Forum, I spent hours digging through APTA's website to gather information about how I could become involved. I presented this information to my class and was blown away by the number of students who also wanted to get involved, but they just didn't know where to start! Watching the enthusiasm grow at Duke gave me the most fulfilling feeling, and I realized that I had found my niche. My passion is helping others find and fulfill their passions. For me, it was a call to action and the Board of Directors was the perfect outlet.
In the near future, I see endless possibility for the Student Assembly. With the expanding autonomy that is shaping the future of our profession, APTA needs student voices more than ever. This brings me to my first goal as your secretary: reach out, inform, and enthuse! APTA does a great job of making resources available to students, but it is not always easily accessible or comprehensive. As president of the Duke DPT Class of 2014, I have found that 2 of the most important qualities of successful leadership are establishing clear lines of communication and keeping your peers informed. As secretary, I plan to fully utilize the Student Assembly Board of Directors, the core ambassadors, the faculty representatives, the class presidents, and YOU—the Student Assembly—to keep everyone in the know. There is nothing more essential in these years of growth as students than expanding our knowledge, and the community’s knowledge, of the profession we love. There is an opportunity for each and every one of us out there; the question is whether or not you have the tools to find it!
Luckily for us, possibilities are everywhere. I plan to utilize my position as secretary as an opportunity to help students realize what they are capable of, and then pinpoint ways to fulfill this potential. I have no doubt that from here on, the Student Assembly will Move Forward with the force of a team, and I would be truly honored to help lead the way!
Thank you so much for this opportunity!