Student Spotlight of the Week
This week’s Student Spotlight goes to first year physical therapy student, Emily Repka. Emily was born and raised in the “Sunshine City” of St. Petersburg, Florida. She chose to pursue the field of Physical Therapy because she wants to make a life’s work of serving people of all backgrounds and helping them restore function through movement so they can find joy in the world around them. “Physical Therapy is a unique field because you are able to foster deep and meaningful relationships with your clientele as they come for your services multiple times a week for an elongated timeframe” Emily says. She is particularly interested in the study of neurorehabilitation because each client presents differently which makes personalizing care so much more important and allows the therapist to focus on how to progress the client’s abilities. Emily was an adaptive ski instructor during the 2018-2019 season for a non-profit organization in Breckenridge, Colorado called the Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC). In working for the BOEC, she had the privilege to teach those with varied conditions including visual impairments, neurological conditions, Wounded Warriors with prosthetics, paralysis and more. She also volunteered in a series of pop-up medical clinics in the Peruvian countryside and had the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu and pet wild llamas!
[I] want to make a life's work of serving people of all backgrounds and helping them restore function through movement so they can find joy in the world around them.
Emily is deeply passionate about increasing inclusivity in sports and recreation and creating more opportunities for adventure as it pertains to those on the neurodiverse spectrum. In addition to her experience working in adaptive sports, she has also volunteered with groups such as Special Olympics, Surfers for Autism, and Equine Therapy programs. In conjunction with PT, this is her passion because she has seen first-hand how being outdoors and participating in recreation activities increases independence, self-confidence, and betters self-esteem. Being a Florida girl through and through, some of her favorite hobbies are done in or near the water. If she is not kayaking in the intercoastal waterway, she can often be found going for a run on the beach, playing beach volleyball, or swimming. Additionally, Emily values self-care time and love arts and crafts, knitting, painting, and baking goodies for her friends and family.