Clarence Holmes is a candidate for Treasurer on the Student Assembly Board of Directors.
It all started in October of 2011. I was a first-year student who had hopped a plane and flown 1,000+ miles to the National Student Conclave in Minneapolis. There were 2 third-years from my school who decided to go as well, but I didn't really know them so, essentially, I was by myself. No expectations, no idea what I was getting myself into, but I took a step. That step was by far the best step I've taken in my experience as a physical therapist student.
That step inspired me to get involved in my education. That step let me know that there's much more to being a physical therapy student than attending classes everyday (thank God!). Taking that step was imperative to me getting involved within my professional organization and, ever since then, that's exactly what I have been doing.
Soon after returning from Minneapolis, I was appointed by the current SABoD to the position of chair of the Minority and International Affairs Project Committee. Over the previous year, my committee members and I have worked tirelessly to come up with ways to better inform students of all levels (high school, undergraduate, and even PT/PTA students) about all that physical therapy has to offer.
I also have served as my class president; the School of Health Related Profession's representative to the Associated Student Body at the University of Mississippi Medical Center; a member of the committee that started a free rehabilitation clinic in the Jackson, MS community; and, most recently, a member of the Jackson Free Clinic Board of Directors. It is my belief that as a result of that first step and all of these that followed, I am more than prepared to take on the responsibility of treasurer of the Student Assembly.
While at NSC, as a lot of other students would say, "I caught the bug" and have fought to not miss another conference. Since NSC, I have attended the Combined Sections Meeting in Chicago and I served as an usher at PT 2012 in Tampa. As a first-year student, conferences can get a bit overwhelming, but it was the interactions with the PTs/PTAs and the students that got me pumped. Being able to sit with past and current APTA presidents and chat about where physical therapy is headed is an unimaginable experience that everyone should be able to participate in.
The problem is that most students are probably unaware of these opportunities. I want to be a part of changing this notion. As a member of the SABoD, I'd like to continue to focus on awareness of all the opportunities available to students through APTA. I'm no different from any other PT student, so why should I get to have all the fun? My goal for the new SABoD is to inspire students to take part in these conferences so that we can all take that next step together and move physical therapy forward.