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“I got accepted to Northwestern University in Chicago to study Physical Therapy starting Fall 2018. Most of my residents don’t know yet. I probably won’t tell the rest until, I don’t know, June or so. Mid-summer. Otherwise, all of our conversations are just going to be sad. Even then it won’t be my last day though—I’ll still be calling them. I mean, I was in Brazil for 2 weeks on vacation, and I skyped with them. I’ll see them again.”

“The goal since 7th grade was always physical therapy school, so I knew that was what I wanted to do all through undergrad but I didn’t have any experience in the healthcare field at all. I applied to physical therapy school in 2015 and was rejected. Being a person that works hard enough to never be rejected, that was really hard. I was kind of sent back to square 1, wondering ‘Where do I start? What can I fix?’ So I got an internship at the VA and was in the physical therapy department so that was super cool, and at the same time I was applying for ACR Homes. The house that I was placed in was probably the most perfect fit that I could ever imagine. I’ve always kind of been one of the guys, so being in an all male house was perfect.”

“I’m more into the advocating side of physical therapy- the creating new opportunities for people side, rather than working with sports injuries. That’s not what I’m into. I originally thought sports medicine, but then at the VA I worked with traumatic brain injuries and then the same population here at ACR. It sparked my interest in physical therapy with a focus in neurology. I don’t know. I’m open-minded, just not sports, that’s all I know. I want to teach people how to walk again and how to use a prosthetic device and stuff like that, not ‘oh my shoulder hurts—help me’. I’ve been that athlete. I want the intense stuff.”

“I do my best to take the guys into the community any time I can. If it’s my friend’s sporting event or just a walk over the bridge or ‘hey! Come to my gymnastics practice’. Two of my friends came to a campfire cookout we had at the house and met the guys. I talk about work all the time. If I get talking about work, I never shut up. One resident came to support me at my gymnastics meet last year. I told him about it and when he wants you to continue talking about something, he’ll open his eyes really big and look at you. I was like ‘gymnastics?’ and he’d say ‘yes’. I asked him if he’d want to come watch and he did. The day of, I was about to go on floor. That’s my favorite event and I really wanted him to see it. He rolled in with staff. I was like “wait a minute, wait a minute” and I ran over and gave him a huge hug. I got a recording of my routine, and he’s in the background of my recording and you can just see him laughing. That moment, for that resident, that had to be my favorite. It’s just something we bond over now. It’s awesome. That’s probably my all-time, all-time favorite with him. Don’t get me wrong. There are days that are not glorious. I’m not going to sit here and tell you it’s an easy job, because it’s not. There are days that it’s really really hard. But then the days that my residents say they’re so thankful for you, things like that, they make it worth it. The days that are good make up for the days that are bad.”