Ismael Membrere, Jr. is the recipient of a Barbara Yap Scholarship for Physical Therapist Assistant students. This is an excerpt of his thank-you letter to donors.
It is an honor to be chosen for the Barbara Yap PTA Scholarship Fund at Kapi‘olani Community College for the school year 2020-21. I am writing to thank you for your generous financial support toward a goal I have had for the past six years.
I am an aspiring Physical Therapist Assistant in hopes of one day opening up a clinic to provide physical therapy and performance training services to various communities on O‘ahu. As a UH Mānoa alum with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, my initial goal was to attend physical therapy school. However, grades, time, and most importantly, finances were holding me back from fully pursuing a doctoral degree.
The current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic has also put a lot more burden on me and my family, in addition to the problems many Hawai‘i residents were already experiencing previously. So, because of your contributions, you take off a lot of burden and now I can focus more on being the best student I can be rather than worrying how to pay for school and other living expenses.
After completing the PTA program next August, I plan to take the NPTE-PT Board Exam in October, hopefully passing and starting to work for a clinic. In the next five to ten years, I plan to not only accumulate experience to become the best PTA that I can be, but also learn more about business and make the necessary moves to open my own clinic by the year 2030.
I will provide services for anyone who wants and needs it, especially people from our Native Hawaiian community. This pandemic has exposed all of the socioeconomic problems Native Hawaiians and many other Pacific Islanders face in regard to not only access to quality healthcare, but also overall wellness. In addition, Hawai‘i still faces a pharmaceutical crisis as well as an obesity problem. My goal is to make sure that physical therapy is the first option before opioids and surgery and to encourage a healthier, active lifestyle for all.
I am truly grateful and blessed for the scholarship support. This scholarship allows me to focus less on finances and focus more on my studies. Thank you for your support of the students of Kapi‘olani Community College and all the aspiring physical therapy assistants who come through your fine program.
Ismael Membrere, Jr.
PTA Cohort 2020-21