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Mena Azer

225

Bold Points

1x

Finalist

1x

Winner

Education

University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences

Doctoral degree program (PhD, MD, JD, etc.)
2023 - 2027
  • Majors:
    • Sports, Kinesiology, and Physical Education/Fitness

Loma Linda University

Associate's degree program
2019 - 2020
  • Majors:
    • Sports, Kinesiology, and Physical Education/Fitness

California State University-Northridge

Bachelor's degree program
2013 - 2016
  • Majors:
    • Sports, Kinesiology, and Physical Education/Fitness

Pasadena City College

Associate's degree program
2006 - 2013
  • Majors:
    • Sports, Kinesiology, and Physical Education/Fitness
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Health, Wellness, and Fitness

    • Dream career goals:

      -
      James B. McKillip Scholarship for Physical Therapy
      Winner
      As an Egyptian immigrant where poliovirus was not eradicated in the developing country until 2006, as opposed to the 1960s in the U.S., my father was diagnosed with poliovirus and is currently living with post-polio syndrome. In addition, his lifelong battle with poliovirus led to recently developed spinal stenosis with multiple herniated discs at the lumbar region of his spine. Due to complications caused by severe radiculopathy, he required numerous urgent surgeries. Regardless of the physical pain he experienced, my father was determined to work hard to successfully provide for our family. However, chronic pain, fatigue, and declining mobility due to poliovirus and PPS impaired his quality of life and well-being. The empathetic pain and anguish I experience in response to the impact of poliovirus on my father's physical and mental health is why I decided to pursue a career in physical therapy. I aim to use the training and education I acquire to help others experiencing similar symptoms due to neuromuscular diseases, chronic pain, or impaired mobility to improve, reduce, and manage their pain and restore movement and physical function. While obtaining a career where I can help others restore and manage their physical function was a childhood dream that stemmed from seeing my father, a hero in my eyes for withstanding all the physical and mental ailments associated with his disease to provide for us, I was unsure where to start. That quickly changed when a simple family vacation during community college became a life-changing experience and gave me undoubtable certainty and affirmation of a prospective career in physical therapy. During my family vacation, I had the pleasure of meeting my father's childhood friend, and I learned about his occupation as a physical therapist. He spoke about his motivation for pursuing this career and the many patients he helped overcome their injuries and disabilities. This was the moment when I knew the career path I wanted to pursue. I was starstruck because I wanted to hear more about his experiences and the patients he has helped. I was blown away by how devoted he was to this career, and at that very moment, I knew this was the path I wanted to follow. A couple of years later, I earned my bachelor's degree in Kinesiology at California State University, Northridge, and applied to Doctor of Physical Therapy programs. However, I was not fortunate enough to get accepted. Despite being disappointed at the time, this did not discourage me. I applied to the Physical Therapy Assistant program at Loma Linda University and successfully earned my Physical Therapy Assistant license. I am currently work at Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center, which is part of Therapeutic Associates Inc. While I enjoy my career as a physical therapy assistant, there were other goals for my prospective career. My love for Physical Therapy has motivated me to continue with my education and pursue my Doctorate in Physical Therapy degree. I am attending the University of St. Augustine Health Science and continuing to work at Providence St. Joseph's Medical Center. Growing up and not understanding why my father could not participate in certain physical activities with me like other children's fathers was a struggle but a blessing in disguise. It made me realize that helping individuals like my father is what I want to do for the rest of my life.