The following candidate statement was written prior to Tom's election as vice president of the Student Assembly Board of Directors.
Two years ago I asked a simple question: "Where do I begin?" It directed me toward the National Student Conclave project committee. One year later, I was leading the same project committee into developing the first clothing drive, scavenger hunt, and volunteer event at NSC ever. The greatest thing about our profession is that a simple question has the ability to make a difference. It can jumpstart your involvement and lead to creating meaningful change for our profession and our patients. I am running for Vice President because I want to encourage students to ask these questions and reach their potential. To do so, I will enhance communication through the Loop Communication Network, Core Ambassadors (CA), and Student Special Interest Groups (SSIG), and I will foster advocacy efforts across the nation.
We have to connect our student body because we are stronger united than divided. We see our power in numbers when we attend PT Day on the Hill, when we gather for conferences like NSC, or when we mass call/email our senators or representatives about pressing issues related to physical therapy. Our connections are vital to our success as a profession. My plan is to take these networks to the next level. I will build upon the strong foundation laid down by our previous board of directors and create a community of learners and advocates among our students. I will foster networks by creating conversation through our CAs, SSIGs, physical therapy programs, and APTA. We will stand together as one to transform our profession.
We need to continue to be advocates for our profession. We cannot ask for change, we must demand it. It is encouraging that we are not alone; 24,000 PT and PTA students, and even more physical therapists, are standing behind us every step of the way. When you treat a patient, your profession is supporting you. If you call your representative on the phone, you can bet that your PT community will be cheering you on. That is the power of our profession. I will cultivate a spirit of advocacy among our students. I will focus on creating opportunities for students to voice their opinions to our state lawmakers. Our student assembly will be connected to the real world, so we can demand change. Remember that our energy and enthusiasm as physical therapy students is the heartbeat behind our profession. Let us use that energy to show the world how PT transforms.
We need to be persistent for change to occur. Our victories will be due to the resilience and enthusiasm of our profession. Students will continue to be the energy that pushes our profession forward, and we will motivate and empower our profession. I promise that I will work to take our students to new heights. I will create opportunities for you to use your strengths and succeed. I will listen completely, lead unselfishly, and laud your victories. And most importantly, I will always let you know where to begin.