These are the instructions: Please write a brief statement concerning your reasons for undertaking graduate study. Indicate, if appropriate, any specific areas of research interest. You may wish to discuss past work in your intended field or related fields and outline your plans for your professional career. If there are any special financial or academic circumstances you wish to bring to the attention of the graduate admission committee, feel free to do so.
This is my response:
I chose to pursue a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree because I want to better the lives of others while incorporating my own interests. I am currently particularly interested in special needs patients, my interest was sparked from shadowing with Susan Edwards, a Physical Therapist that specializes in working with patients that have special needs. She works in in-home settings, out patient, and in a boarding school setting working with a large range of ages from newborns to adults. She also has a daughter, Jordan, with developmental disabilities that I have helped learn to ride horses over the past five years. Working with Jordan has been a very rewarding experience, from seeing her get on a horse for the first time to watching her show in her first jumping class. Although some concepts and ideas were harder for Jordan to grasp, she has overcome many obstacles along her journey and achieved many of her personal goals.
I have been showing horses all over the United States for eight years, achieving multiple World Champions and Reserve World Champions in western pleasure, trail, and horsemanship. Two years I was named among the top twenty riders in my age group in the American Paint Horse Association. My ultimate goal would be to incorporate my love of equine with Physical Therapy, using my talents and skills to help patients using hippotherapy and therapeutic riding.
Another opportunity that has increased my interest in both equine and physical therapy has been volunteering with Talisman Therapeutic Riding. Here many challenged riders come to get therapy on horseback, there is a wide variety of conditions from autistic to paraplegic riders. A physical therapist comes to Talisman to work with a few of the children, having them do different exercises and stretches while on the horses back to increase their strength and balance. These kids have provided even more inspiration behind my choice to pursue Physical Therapy, the joy that therapy brings to them is amazing to witness. Even a small improvement, such as being able to guide or stop the horse on their own, is such a satisfying achievement for them. I know that Physical therapy will bring the same sense of achievement but in different ways, and I would love to devote my life to helping others achieve a higher quality of life.
Balancing my academic schedule, my riding career, and working on my family's farm has been difficult, but each of these aspects are very important to me. Being raised on a farm and also being a first generation college student made transitioning to college a difficult challenge. My freshman year, I attended the University of Findlay in Ohio and was majoring in pre-physical therapy. Being so far away from home gave me such severe home sickness that I began showing symptoms of depression, I could not sleep well, my hair started falling out, I could not eat, and I lost a considerable amount of weight. My grades suffered from my emotional state at that time. I transferred to Salisbury University and have been very happy in this area, so I know Princess Anne will also be a great fit for me.
Please give me some constructive criticism!!! Thank you!!