The Illinois Physical Therapy Foundation (IPTF) and PT Solutions Physical Therapy (PTS) selected Elgin Community College Physical Therapist Assistant student Natalia Martinez (Streamwood, Ill.) to receive a one-time $3,000 scholarship on behalf of the PTS Future Leadership Scholarship Program. The scholarship selection is based on several factors, including clarity/completeness of application, goals, interest in leadership, and recommendations from instructors. Martinez was chosen from a pool of 19 other applicants.
“When I found out I had won this scholarship, it meant relief, accomplishment, and proof that if you believe, then you can achieve,” said Martinez. “I am a proud Latina, and it is very rare in my community and family to pursue higher education and graduate from college. It is equally rare to consider a career in healthcare. I see this as a challenge and a source of inspiration as I intend to bridge the gap that contributes to disparities in health status among the Hispanic population.”
Martinez was introduced to the scholarship by Kim Tarver, PT, MPH, professor of physical therapist assistant, who encouraged her to apply and provided her with the motivation to do so. “I am very grateful to have the support and belief of Professor Tarver. She has given me confidence not only in the profession of physical therapy but as a person,” said Martinez.
Martinez will be recognized for this honor at the Governors State University Networking Gala on September 18. She plans on graduating from ECC’s PTA program in spring 2023. Visit the PTA program webpage for more information on the program.