As children returned to the classroom this month, Keiser University students in the Physical Therapist Assistant program program were doing their part to make sure kids in foster care have the school supplies they need to succeed.

“It’s a good way for us to do a little bit to make a big difference,” says Angela Gonzalez, who joined classmates in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to gather donations from students, faculty, and staff on the Keiser University Fort Lauderdale campus.

Those donations included backpacks with notebooks, folders, pencils, and other essential school supplies to benefit SOS Children’s Village – Florida, a Coconut Creek-based nonprofit that provides care for abused children and children suffering from forms of neglect in South Florida.

“Community outreach is the essence of what the APTA student chapter is about,” says Dorice Ross, a Keiser University PTA professor. “Our students understand it’s not just about performing physical therapy, it’s about helping the community and promoting our profession as well.”

The back-to-school drive was coordinated through a partnership with Health Rehab of Coral Springs, which has been placing Keiser University students in clinical positions for years.

“Thanks to Keiser students, we’ve doubled our supplies,” says Elmer Pillon, a managing partner at Health Rehab who accepted the Keiser school supplies on behalf of SOS Children’s Village – Florida. “So, that’s 72 foster kids who will be fully equipped for the school season.”

Physical Therapist Assistant Program

Keiser University trains students who pursue a Physical Therapist Assistant Associate of Science degree to assist in the management of conditions such as arthritis, cerebrovascular accident (stroke), spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, sports injuries, cerebral palsy, cardiac and pulmonary pathology, and other types of injuries and/or pathologies.

Keiser University is a private, independent, non-profit university serving 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and two international sites. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, PhD, and Evelyn Keiser, the university currently offers more than 100 degrees from associate to the doctoral level. And it was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. in providing Social Mobility by U.S. News and World Report in 2023.

Featured image: Keiser University Physical Therapist Assistant students gather supplies for local foster children returning to school. Photo: Keiser University