Meet the BrightLife Scholarship Recipient!
For the sixth year in a row, BrightLife Direct is giving back to the physical therapy community by providing a scholarship to help an aspiring physical therapist continue their education.
The 2021 BrightLife Physical Therapist Scholarship was open to all students studying to be an occupational therapist, physical therapist or assistant. We received so many wonderful applications from students who are incredibly passionate about helping their community and returning their patients to a state of independence.
With so many amazing occupational and physical therapy students all working to improve the lives of others in their own way, it was challenging to choose a winner. The recipient of this year’s scholarship is one that is very deserving. It is our pleasure to congratulate Megan Hutchinson as this year’s Physical Therapist scholarship recipient.
Megan impressed us with not only with her success as a student but her volunteer work with FYZICAL Therapy and Balance, a physical therapy center where she had the privilege of volunteering with an underserved population. While there, she saw first hand the impact physical therapy can have on ones life. Her essay provided a myriad of examples showing these patients resiliency and how it inspires her. Her time at FYZICAL Therapy cultivated her passion for aiding others and for the field of neurological physical therapy.
She has a goal to become a specialist in neurology and ultimately become an officer in the United States Public Health Service where she hopes to promote and integrate rehabilitation services in underserved and vulnerable populations.
We cannot wait to see where Megan's career takes her.
Read about the recipient of last year's scholarship, Anne H.:
nne is a student at Bradley University in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program. Anne was inspired to take a career path to help the geriatric population after working as a part-time dog walker for an elderly woman as well as volunteering at a local VA hospital and an older adult daycare center and most recently as a caretaker for a gentleman with dementia.
"Each of these experiences have continued to fuel my passion for older adults and addressing their unique health needs since older adults tend to have more physical issues that impair their mobility. This can contribute to other physical problems, decreased function, depression and social isolation. I want to address these issues by being a provider who consistently focuses on the patient in front of me as a whole, not just as a person with a knee issue. This includes not only making my care personalized to the patient’s goals and needs, but also knowing when to refer to or work with other providers so the patient receives the best possible, team-based care. Going forward, I want to be a provider who communicates effectively, constantly seeks to learn, and treats everyone with respect and dignity. I want to foster a positive environment for my coworkers, caregivers and patients alike to give my patients the best care possible. ." – Anne Havenga (excerpt from essay)
She has also helped at a stroke camp put on by the United Stroke Alliance. Here, Anne assisted a stroke survivor and was reminded of how much joy can be found helping someone else be able to do more while practicing important PT skills.
Additionally, Anne volunteers in a pro-bono physical therapy clinic and serves on the clinic board. The allowed her to develop her abilities as a PT while providing treatment to patients with neurological conditions who have exhausted their insurance.
We cannot wait to see where Anne's career takes her.