To PT School & Beyond!

Ayanna was introduced to Connecting Champions when she shared with her hospital staff that she was overwhelmed and unsure how to apply for physical therapy school. A recent college graduate, she knew she wanted to take the next step in becoming a physical therapist, but she didn’t know where to start.

Connecting Champions reached out to David, a physical therapist who would be able to share his experiences with Ayanna and help her pursue her passion.

“At first, I was pretty scared of going out of my comfort zone,” said Ayanna, reminiscing on her initial days with the organization. “When I met David, he was so kind and the energy that he gave off was very welcoming. He’s the type of person that you can talk to very easily.”

Right off the bat, it was obvious that Ayanna and David were going to be successful together. “David does a really good job of balancing what he’s experienced and thinks Ayanna should look for while also encouraging her and seeking this out for herself,” said Virtual Program Associate Cait.

David was able to answer all of Ayanna’s questions about becoming a physical therapist and what a career in the field may look like. A majority of their conversations, however, revolved around Ayanna’s application process for physical therapy school.

“Getting into physical therapy school is a stressful process,” David admitted, thinking back to his time applying to programs. “Anything to help ease that stress and the burden of trying to navigate that, it felt good to give her the opportunity to help her go down a certain path.”

Together, David led Ayanna through all of the different aspects of the application process. They made a pros and cons list of different schools, listing everything Ayanna would want in her dream school, and went through each potential program, identifying all of the requirements to be admitted to the college.

“They really put all of the pieces together of this puzzle for her PT application,” Cait said. “Ayanna’s a million steps ahead of the game, but she is also so actively engaged in doing the things that they talk about. David’s really helping set her up for success. It’s really, really cool!”

All of the hard work throughout their calls paid off when Ayanna got to share with David and Cait that she was accepted into a physical therapy program! “I felt like my heart was going to explode because they were definitely some of my biggest supporters,” Ayanna said. “Sharing the news with both of them, it was a really good moment that I’ll honestly never forget.”

When asked about the moment that Ayanna shared the good news (pictured above), David said, “Hearing her say that she got in, thinking back to all of the work that she put in and the times that she doubted herself, it all went away and I just saw how proud she was. It was an awesome moment knowing that I was looking at a future colleague of mine. I couldn’t be prouder.”

Once Ayanna finishes school and becomes a full-time physical therapist, she will have the opportunity to work in the same field as the mentor who helped get her to where she is today. “The physical therapy field is gaining a future excellent clinician, someone that is going to work tirelessly not just to help people but to use her own experiences to make the profession better,” said David. “I’ve been seeing her talk and just hearing someone that’s passionate about making an impact and the ideas that she’s already been thinking of before even going to school, you just know that this is a special individual that is going to do some great things.”

As she looked back on her experience with the organization, Ayanna shared what fond memories she holds and her gratitude for her mentorship with David. “I’m really thankful for getting to be a part of Connecting Champions,” she said. “I have such happy memories. They really helped me get here.”

Activity Kits

National Geographic Science Magic Kit

​Help 8-year-old Joe

Future Scientist

Get a science experiment kit to explore with his mentor!

​Help 9-year-old Myla

Future Artist

Get art supplies to create with her mentor!

Help 23-year-old Erik

Future Coffee Barista

Get coffee supplies to learn how to create specialty drinks with his mentor!

The pandemic showed many people what social isolation is really like. It also showed there are many other great ways to connect. That’s why we launched our activity kits. These mailed out packages provide fun activities for our mentors and kids/young adults to do together — virtually.

Reach Out to Us

Or contact / 412.376.3755