By Deb Matsuura

Reflecting on the Co-Op Experience

Megumi describes her Co-op experience as GRATEFUL

What was the one experience that you think was the highlight of the experience? One in the clinic and one outside the clinic. 
Completing my second coop at Fukuji and Lum in Hawaii was an experience that I will be forever grateful for. I would also say it has been the best experience during my time at Northeastern. Taking time away from Boston and having a completely different environment for 6 months allowed me to grow and make great memories. In the clinic, I enjoyed working on my communication skills when getting to know the patients and teaching them exercises. The patients were very welcoming and it was fun to chat with them about their local recommendations of favorite food places and hikes. Getting to talk about Japan with them and talking to some in Japanese was also memorable and fulfilling. 

Outside of the clinic, I remember some crazy adventures like climbing Koko Head before work, skydiving and shark diving on the same day, getting lost on hikes, swimming to the middle of the ocean to see dolphins, and when Alltrails.com would underestimate the difficulty of the trails which put me in some rather dangerous situations than I would have preferred. Crossing off my Hawaii bucket list activities regularly was very exciting and made me appreciate each day of my long but short visit. 

If you had to choose one word about your experience, what word would you choose?
One word I would use to describe my experience would be grateful. As much as I was excited to have the opportunity to live in Hawaii, moving to Hawaii for 6 months sounded risky. However, getting out of my comfort zone with new adventures outside of the clinic and in the clinic, I feel grateful for the people that made this the amazing opportunity that it was. There were many moving parts to make this experience possible starting with my family and the welcoming people that I met and got close to, so I will remember to appreciate how this was possible. The result of taking these risks and trying new things brought me to Hawaii and Fukuji and Lum which will boost my confidence to challenge myself in the future as well.

Who had the most impact on you during your time here?
Everyone I got to work with impacted me in many ways, especially those at the Honolulu clinic. I got to learn from a diverse range of treatment styles and personalities through each PT and PTA. This helped me begin navigating my interests and style on how to treat and interact with patients. I appreciated the time devoted by the therapists to teach and explain their logic and tips for their treatments which I hope to be able to do for other students in the future as well. They encouraged me to ask more questions, provided opportunities to learn, and let me practice hands-on techniques. Being a clinical student next year, the open environment here has prepared me to be more involved and proactive with my learning. In addition, being back in classes now, I have especially been grateful for the learning experience in the clinic because I now have some familiarity with concepts and techniques has been very helpful.

From this experience, what intentions will you have going forward with your career?
With my career, I hope to integrate the welcoming and family culture from Fukuji and Lum and Hawaii in my practice. Going forward, I know I have made many life-long relationships that I can reach out to for anything which I am very thankful for. Although I miss everyone and life in Hawaii, I am motivated to get back in the classroom to learn more and become a PT myself. 

By Abby

Reflecting on the Co-Op Experience

Julia Reflects on Her Time in Hawaii

Julia shares about her experience as a co-op and how it continues to have a positive impact on her education and passion for physical therapy. 

Thinking back on my time in Hawaii, I can easily say that spending six months working at Fukuji & Lum was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Going into this experience I was so excited to see the outpatient side of physical therapy for the first time and apply and expand my knowledge. Within the six short months I was at Fukuji & Lum I learned more than I ever could have imagined and feel so much more confident and prepared heading into my upcoming classes and future clinical rotations. I am so thankful for the WORC crew who welcomed me with open arms and made my time at Fukuji & Lum so memorable. The therapists at WORC were all amazing mentors and not only challenged me as a student, but also supported and trusted me to apply my skills inside the clinic. Not only were they great teachers, but also such a fun crew of people to work alongside and made leaving Hawaii that much harder. I'm also grateful for my exposure to aquatic therapy and seeing the contrast between the calm, slower moving aquatic sessions and the fast paced, busy days at WORC and coming to love and appreciate my time spent in both. Overall, I am so thankful to be a part of such an amazing company that truly became ‘ohana. From my experience inside the clinic, to time spent with coworkers outside of work at the beach, on the sandbar, at game nights and everything in between, I will forever have a special place in my heart for everyone at Fukuji & Lum.

Outside of the clinic, I was eager to see and do as much as I possibly could in my short time on Oahu. When I first got to Hawaii I wanted to do things that got me out of my comfort zone such as go skydiving, swimming with sharks and on ridge hikes. I'm happy to say I accomplished all of that and much more and couldn't be more happy with all I got out of this experience. I fell in love with hiking during my time in Oahu and hiked well over 30 incredible, challenging and beautiful trails. Out of all of them, I'd have to say I loved hiking the stairway to heaven with all the coops the most out of any. Spending 11 miles hiking up through muddy trenches, intense wind and along narrow ridges was an incredible experience that made me so appreciative for all my body could do. And accomplishing this alongside each of the other co-ops made it even more special! Other than hiking, I am going to miss chasing the beautiful sunrises and sunsets, snorkeling and swimming with turtles, dolphins, and fish, and visiting all the beautiful beaches & lookout spots around the island. I'm already missing the people, food, nature and overall beauty I got to immerse myself in during my six months in Oahu- and I'm looking for any excuse to get myself back there!!

This experience wouldn't have been what it was if it weren't for the 4 other co-ops I was with- Annie, Meg, Lauren and Holland who all deserve a shout out. It was an incredible experience getting to know and live with my classmates, as well as explore the island, try new foods and meet new people with them. We had an amazing 6 months together packed full of adventures, good eats and lots of laughs. Thank you ladies for being the best co-workers, classmates and friends!

Going forward, I am excited to utilize all the new skills and knowledge I have for my upcoming classes, clinicals and future as a physical therapist. The relationships I made both with therapists and patients helped to shape me into an even better future clinician & I appreciate learning from all the diverse perspectives and personalities I encountered in my time at Fukuji & Lum. I am forever grateful to have had this opportunity to help further shape into the well educated, compassionate and patient centered  physical therapist I hope to be in a few short years.

Thanks for the best time and the best memories Oahu! Missing Hawaii & everyone at Fukuji & Lum every day!

By Abby

Reflecting on the Co-Op Experience

Holland Reflects on Her Time in Hawaii

We are always excited to hear about our students' experiences and learn about their favorite parts while in Hawaii and working with Fukuji & Lum staff. Holland tells us what impacted her the most and the highlights throughout her six months as a co-op.

What was the one experience that you think was the highlight of the experience? One in the clinic and one outside the clinic.

Since coming back two months ago, so many people have asked me what the best part of my time in Hawaii was, and I still struggle to come up with an answer because the whole experience was so surreal and amazing! One experience that sticks out was the open house at the newly renovated Kailua clinic, the clinic reopened during my first week so it was so much fun to share the space with everyone and get to celebrate all the hard work that went into it all together. That was the first event I attended with the whole company and it was so great to really feel like part of the ‘ohana. Outside of the clinic, the highlight would have to be hiking to Moanalua valley trail to stairway to heaven with the other four coops. It was my favorite hike on the island, and it was so special to accomplish it all together (even after a few scary moments on the way up)!

Who had the most impact on you during your time here?

It’s impossible to pick just one person! All the PTs, PTAs, techs, and of course the other coops made the experience what it was. I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time working with Rachel Hyland at the Kroc center and got to learn so much from her about PT, leadership, and life on all our drives out to Kapolei. The whole staff at the Kailua clinic was so amazing and always willing to take time out of their day to teach me new skills and test my knowledge, I learned so much from every one of them. Most of all, the other coops made the experience so much fun both in and out of the clinic—we did so much together and I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls to share this chapter of our lives!

What was the most surprising thing that you did not expect to learn?

I didn’t expect that I would learn to love orthopedics as much as I did! On one of my first days in the clinic, one of the therapists taught me about scapulohumeral rhythm and explained how the thoracic spine can affect shoulder mobility; this helped me to realize just how much everything is connected and how the body really is a puzzle. I love how intellectually challenging ortho can be, and as I learned more throughout my coop and began to be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together I really grew to love it.

From this experience, what intentions will you have going forward with your career?

In my first blog post, I said I hoped to be the kind of therapist who is a great educator. After my six months at Fukuji & Lum, that intention has not changed. In addition to educating patients in order to help them achieve the best possible outcomes, I also understand how important education is for the profession as a whole. The work that Fukuji & Lum is doing to educate people on the value of PT as part of their standard healthcare is so valuable and unique, and I know this kind of education will help to grow the profession so much. I hope that in my career I can do similar work to educate people on all that PT can be and to continue to advance the profession. Additionally, I hope to be a mentor and educator for students. I learned so much from everyone at Fukuji & Lum and am so appreciative of their mentorship, I can only hope to pay it forward in my career.

If you had to choose one word about your experience, what word would you choose?

Adventure! This coop was truly the adventure of a lifetime, when I first came to Hawaii I made it my goal to leave no stone unturned and between skydiving, swimming with turtles, dolphins, and sharks, 60+ hikes, and chasing countless sunrises and sunsets I truly made the most of my experience and didn’t waste a moment.

By Abby

Welcoming our Fall NEU PT Students!

Hello to Alex!

Alex tells us about his initial motivation to become a physical therapist and how important his parents are to him. He's excited to explore the islands and grow as a PT student during his time as a co-op with us.

What school did you attend in high school and what's your current college?

I grew up in a city called Quincy, Massachusetts and attended North Quincy High school. Then I went to University of Massachusetts Amherst and got my bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. After taking a gap year after graduating, I am currently attending Northeastern University’s DPT program.

What drew you to physical therapy?

I had always enjoyed watching the Patriots win all their Superbowls and I wanted one of the rings. One of the ways to do that was to find my way on the field. I had seen athletic trainers and PTs run on the field and get their 15 seconds of fame and that’s what I wanted at first. After my first job in an office, I realized that I couldn’t sit still and needed to be moving around. Once I was exposed to working in a PT clinic, I really enjoyed working with patients.  Getting to meet new people every day and listen to everyone’s life experiences while helping them brings excitement to my life.

What's the strangest thing that you've eaten since arriving?

I don’t think that I have had anything strange since arriving in Hawaii, maybe raw octopus? I would say I’m a very adventurous eater and love food, so I am always down to try some new foods.

What is on your to-do list while here?

My to-do list while here is to be able to go to the 3 other large islands. I would also love to swim with dolphins, skydive, surf and maybe swim with sharks. Also what I’ve been accomplishing the most, to eat as much good food as possible.

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?

The therapist that I want to be is a trustworthy, dedicated and reliable therapist that patients are able to communicate with and trust. Being able to connect with patients in that way is what an amazing feeling and is what I hope I can do in the future.

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?

Why did I want to do co-op in Hawaii? Because WHY NOT!!  I had been to Hawaii last year and I loved it, so why not come back for 6 months this time. I am fortunate and grateful to have such a strong support system back at home to be able to be living this dream. Even though I am here to learn and work, I feel like I am on a 6-month vacation.

What has been your experience like so far?

My experience so far has been a dream. Everyone here is so welcoming and friendly. I am grateful that Northeastern has such a connection with the F&L family. The weather has been amazing, the beaches have been extravagant, the views have been fabulous, and the food has been impeccable.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?

The greatest influence in my life are my parents. Coming to America from a 3rd world country and being able to give my brothers and I the life that we have had is just unfathomable. I will forever be grateful of what my parents have done for my family. They have worked so hard in their life and deserve nothing but the world and that is what my brothers and I are aiming to do for them.

By Abby

Welcoming our Fall NEU PT Students!

Welcome, Samantha!

Samantha grew up on the East Coast and was interested in seeing other parts of the country and experiencing something new. She tells us about her co-op experience so far and what has driven her to become a physical therapist.

What school did you attend in high school and what's your current college?

I went to North Attleboro High School in North Attleboro Massachusetts. I then went to Syracuse University and got my undergraduate degree in Health and Exercise Science with a minor in psychology. I am currently pursuing my DPT at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. 

What drew you to physical therapy?

Sports have always been a huge part of my life, so I originally was drawn to physical therapy while watching professional sports and seeing the PTs and athletic trainers on the sidelines. I thought that I would pursue working with a professional team, but after working as a summer camp counselor for the past 6 years, I definitely want to continue working with them in my career.

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?

After growing up and going to school in the northeast, I wanted to experience living in a different environment and embracing a whole new culture. I also love being active and enjoying the outdoors and so far, the hikes here have been absolutely incredible! Aside from the location, previous co-op students have had nothing but great things to say about Fukuji and Lum so I knew this would be a great professional learning experience. 

What has your experience been like so far?

In short, it has been amazing! We have been exploring beaches, hikes, food, and everything else the island has to offer. My favorite thing we have done so far is the Maunawili Falls Trail. 

What's the strangest thing that you've eaten since arriving?

Definitely poi from the Waiahole Poi Factory. It had a very interesting flavor and texture, but I would try it again as a side with a Kalua pig plate!

What is on your to-do list while here?

There are many things that I have on my to-do list here in Hawaii but my top three are diving with sharks, learning how to surf, and skydiving! I also want to try as much local food as possible. 

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?

In any setting, I hope to be a caring, reliable, and talented therapist. Ultimately, I hope to become a pediatric physical therapist helping kids to reach their full potential. 

Who is your greatest influence in your life?

My greatest influence is my best friend and brother John. He is only 2 and half years older than me but he is the one that got me interested in working with kids. We worked together at a sports camp at the North Attleboro YMCA for 6-7 summers and it was such a fun and rewarding job being able to make lasting connections with the kids while making lifelong memories with my brother. We grew up playing every sport together so working together to teach kids the same sports we love was awesome. 

By Abby

Welcoming our Fall NEU PT Students!

Aloha, Sarah!

Sarah tells us about her passion for becoming a physical therapist and how excited she is to be learning in such a beautiful place!

What school did you attend in high school and what's your current college?

Hello! My name is Sarah! I am currently attending Northeastern University’s DPT program. I attended Pomperaug High School in Southbury, CT. I then attended the University of Delaware where I majored in Exercise Science.  

What drew you to physical therapy?

As an athlete growing up, I have always valued movement and exercise and know how much it impacts a person's well-being. I have always known I wanted to go into a profession where I would be able to help others and physical therapy allows me to do just that! I love how this profession enables individuals to get back to doing the activities and hobbies they enjoy by educating the patients on what they can do to help their own bodies and become an active part of their healing process. This profession allows the therapists to build a relationship with their patients to work with them to achieve their goals to get back to doing what they love. 

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?

I wanted to do my co-op here in Hawaii because I have always loved traveling and exploring new places. I also felt like it was a great time to experience change and live somewhere new! I also heard such amazing things from past co-op students about their time with Fukuji and Lum and wanted to experience it myself!

What has been your experience like so far?

I have loved my experience so far and every day I wake up and feel so grateful that I am able to learn and grow in such a beautiful place. Everyone at the clinic is so welcoming and excited to share their knowledge. They are always willing to take time to explain the different aspects of their sessions from manual therapy to the exercises they chose and encourage me to learn new skills. In addition, they have been very thoughtful and spent time getting to know me as an individual. From giving me different books about Hawaii to playing games to get to know me better, I have felt very welcomed and thoroughly have enjoyed my time here so far!

What's the strangest thing that you've eaten since arriving?

I haven’t eaten anything that strange so far. However, the most unique thing that I have tried is poi, which was new. I am very excited to try more Hawaiian foods when I am here! 

What is on your to-do list while here?

Everything and anything! Overall, I am very excited to explore everything this island has to offer and look forward to all the gorgeous hikes, long beach days, and sunrises/sunsets I am lucky enough to experience while I am here! 

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?

I want to be the kind of therapist that makes the patient feel like they are listened to and understood. I want patients to feel as if I am caring for them as an individual as opposed to just treating one specific injury. I want to lead with empathy, compassion, and understanding to provide the best care possible!

Who is your greatest influence in your life?

The greatest influence in my life has been my grandmother. She is the sweetest person and always goes the extra mile for everyone and is so caring. Kindness and humility can be seen in everything she does and inspires me to do the same. 

By Abby

Welcoming our Fall NEU PT Students!

Hello, Becky!

Becky tells us about how she became interested in physical therapy, what she's most excited for with the co-op experience, and who inspires her the most.

What school did you attend in high school and what's your current college?

I’m originally from New Jersey and I attended Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan. I continued my education and earned my undergraduate degree at Trinity College in Hartford, CT where I majored in Biology and minored in Religious studies. I also played DIII collegiate volleyball. Now I’m currently a post-baccalaureate student in the DPT program at Northeastern University.

What drew you to physical therapy?

My first exposure to physical therapy was when I was 16 years old and had a high ankle sprain injury. I was trying to return to sport in the best possible shape to prevent re-injury. I had a first-hand experience with the healing and strengthening process where I really felt the benefits of PT. I then wanted to gain more experience in the field, so I started to shadow multiple outpatient PTs where I saw other patients experience improvements in quality of life. From experiencing PT as a patient and working as an aide, I liked how the profession could help people feel better. I was also able to make personal connections with patients and I enjoyed hearing individual stories.

Why did you want to do your co-op in Hawaii?

I wanted to do my co-op in Hawaii because I wanted to experience learning is a different environment. I have lived and completed my education on the East coast all my life, so given this chance I wanted to travel away from home. I also heard many great things from past co-ops about having personal growth and thought a change of scenery and new exposures would be an amazing way to do the same. 

What has been your experience like so far?

My experience in Hawaii so far has been exciting and adventurous! We have done many hikes which include Manoa falls, Lulumahu falls, Maunawili falls, Kuliouou ridge, and Olomana first peak! I have seen some spectacular views of the island! We have also done some kayaking and relaxing at the beach to get as much sun as possible! I would say so far, the North Shore is my favorite part of the island with the beautiful beaches, food trucks, and the drive along the water!

What's the strangest thing that you've eaten since arriving?

The new food I’ve had since arriving is poi which is grounded taro root. I tried it from the Waiahole Poi Factory and the consistency was interesting, but the taste was not bad. It was not my favorite thing I’ve ever eaten, but I will try anything twice. 

What is on your to-do list while here?

There are many other hikes and adventures on my to-do list while in Hawaii. The activity I’m most looking forward to is checking out the food scene in Oahu! I have not been able to do much of that, but I want to try all the local foods and some good restaurants! I am also looking forward to exploring Kualoa Ranch because I love the Jurassic Park movies and want to see where they filmed. I also plan on skydiving, swimming with sharks/turtles, and maybe take a surf lesson!

What kind of therapist do you hope to be?

I hope to be a therapist who is empathetic, dedicated, and creative! With patient care, I think it’s important to show the patient you are listening and that you care. Going the extra mile for a patient and/or even coworker can go a long way. Also making exercises meaningful and relatable are key for successful outcomes. I have been enjoying the holistic approach that Fukuji & Lum follows and hope to carry that into my own future practice as well.

Who is your greatest influence in your life?

The greatest influences in my life are my parents. My mom has the biggest heart and will go the extra mile for people. She has shown me that being kind to others makes a difference. My dad is hard working and intelligent, but also very funny. He has taught me working smart, showing humility, and not taking life to seriously are ways to be successful in the future. My parents have so many great qualities and have raised me to strive to be the best I can be while also being responsible, empathetic, and able to persevere. I’m grateful to have them in my life as such amazing role models. 

By Abby

A Reflection on the Co-Op Experience

Berika

Berika tells us what she unexpectedly learned through her co-op experience and reflects on her time on island. 

What was the one experience that you think was the highlight of the experience? one in the clinic and one outside the clinic.

One of the highlights of my experience was the company retreat! Because my coop took place while COVID was and is still thriving, there weren't too many opportunities to interact with majority of the staff outside of the clinic until the retreat. Seeing everyone on a day to day basis was always great, but watching everyone team up to play volleyball, get massages, and do yoga was even better. I knew it was something that everyone looked forward to every year, and the hype did not fall short when the day came. It was just as fun as we had all hoped and probably even more so for me. Watching Art and Lauren Lum smack each other with pool noodles was just a cherry on top to this day as well.

Outside of the clinic, sky diving for my birthday was a highlight of my time spent in Hawaii! Seeing the North shore land and ocean while falling from 12,000 feet in the air was such a stunning and thrilling experience. Words and pictures can only capture how beautiful and meaningful the entire experience was. Easily one most exciting things I've done in life, and I highly recommend!

Who had the most impact on you during your time here?

My roommates actually had the most impact on me during my time here. We went from not really knowing each other as classmates to moving to an island together and becoming really well acquainted roommates, coworkers, and friends. Going home each day and being able to share what we learned from our respective clinics was such a unique experience that you don't really get from any other coop site. I can only speak for myself, but you absolutely learn so much from spending 6 months together especially when we came from different backgrounds, parts of the country, and with different personalities too. Yes, it was chaotic at times , but for me, I began PT school and my coop being closed off to forming relationships, and I left this experience with some of the most sincere relationships I've ever had. We will always have this shared experience of living in Hawaii for 6 months together.

What was the most surprising thing that you did not expect to learn?

The most surprising thing I did not expect to learn was that I really enjoy aquatic therapy. Before coming to Fukuji and Lum for coop, I knew they offered aquatic therapy, but because I had no water sports or swimming background I did not expect myself to be working at the pool. But I was scheduled at the pool on one of my first days and I soon learned that the aquatic therapy staff are all amazing people, the patients are one of a kind, and the entire setting was a lot different than I had expected it to be and in all the right ways. I'm proud to say I even learned how to swim on one of my first days!  The aquatic therapy portion of my coop experience was absolutely something I did not know I needed in my life!

 

By Abby

A Reflection on the Co-Op Experience

Olivia

Six months flew by and Olivia tells us how her experience in Hawaii will impact her long-term career in physical therapy. 

Aloha 🙂 I’m back on the blog, but from halfway across the globe. It has been a month and a few days since I left the best place on earth... and I miss it so, so much. Six months flew by incredibly fast, but I will remember my time with so much love and gratitude.

Who had the most impact on you during your time here?
I can’t pick one person. To say that I was impacted by every single person I met here, would be an understatement. First, I’ll start with my Kailua and Aqua crew. The clinicians and staff I worked with had an amazing depth of knowledge they shared with me, and I learned so much not only about physical therapy, but about life, relationships, confidence, spirituality, and connection.

I am so thankful to have learned from people I look up to, and now call them 'ohana. I learned a lot from the patients I worked with here too. They gave me great recommendations on how to have fun in Hawaii and what foods to try (shoutout Redfish poke bar). More importantly, they showed me that however big or small you help someone doesn’t matter, what matters is that you are trying to give to something bigger than you. So, I can make a mosaic from what I’ve learned from everyone that I met here and make a beautiful piece of art with it.

If you had to choose one word about your experience, what word would you choose?
Presence. There’s so much depth in this word for me. First, living on aloha time speaks for itself. Not that life is slower in Hawaii, but everyone is more ~present~, and they are deliberate with how they spend their time. One of my favorite things about Hawaii was that the people won’t avoid eye contact with you when you pass them on the street, they will smile and wave. Just a mere five seconds of human connection made such a difference in my day. Second, the environment brings you down to earth and makes you see life in abundance. From sunrise to sunset and everything in between, there were so
many creations to be grateful to witness. My favorite memories were made with my friends as we chased the sun and made it out to China Walls to spend the last few minutes with the sun that day, and so many people had the same idea. It was like we were in an outdoor movie theatre that played a golden sun set, and everyone felt present in it. So, not only does your presence matter to those around you, but you feel present in what’s happening around you.

From this experience, what intentions will you have going forward with your career?
I intend to take a whole body, and whole person approach going forward with my physical therapy career. I think this makes a huge difference in practice, as it allows you to evaluate a bigger picture and give rise to all the parts of someone that make them, them. This was my favorite foundational belief of F&L, and I will take it with me in my soon to be physical therapy career.

Best six months ever!!

Mahalo nui loa,
Olivia

By Abby

Aloha to Our Spring NEU Co-Op Students!

Hi to Julia!

Julia shares her experience in Hawaii thus far and how excited she is for this opportunity. 

Hi everyone!! I’m Julia, I’m from Andover, MA and I’m currently in my fourth year in Northeastern's six-year DPT program. I am beyond excited to be completing my second co-op here at Fukuji and Lum and cannot wait to see what the next six months will have in store!

After doing my first co-op in an inpatient rehabilitation setting, I was eager to experience the outpatient side of physical therapy. I couldn't think of a better place to grow both professionally and personally than here in Hawaii! Not only was I drawn to Fukuji & Lum by the thought of escaping Boston winters, but also because I knew F&L would challenge me to apply what I've been learning in classes and advance my knowledge further. From moving 5,000 miles away, to living with new roommates and starting a new job, I know this opportunity will challenge me in a lot of new ways. However, everyone here has been so welcoming that I already feel like I have a home away from home. I look forward to being able to look back on this experience six months from now and see how much I've grown and all the new relationships I’ve formed.

I am grateful to be receiving my DPT education from Northeastern, where I know experiences such as this one will help to shape me into the type of therapist I hope to be. Having grown up with both myself and family members receiving PT, I got to see how much of a positive impact physical therapy can have on people's lives. I love how personal physical therapy is, and the connections you get to make with patients as you watch them grow, strengthen and get back to doing what they love. I look forward to being a well educated, compassionate,and personable physical therapist that can provide patients with the highest quality of care.

So far, Hawaii has been nothing short of amazing. Every day I'm still in awe of all the beauty this island has to offer, and I look forward to getting to see and do as much as possible in my time here. I hope to get out of my comfort zone and try things that may scare me, like skydiving, ridge hikes, and swimming with sharks. Other than that, I can't wait to soak up the sun, snorkel, relax, make new friends, meet new people and try new foods. So far, I have enjoyed trying musubi, poi donuts and ube hot bread. In just the short time I’ve been here, I've already compiled a long list of food recs from both patients and coworkers, and I can't wait to make my way through them and experience some of the unique foods Hawaii has to offer.

There are many people who have influenced and shaped me to be who I am today, but I am especially grateful to have such amazing parents to look up to. My mom is strong, selfless and caring. My dad is unbelievably hard working, wise and generous beyond belief. They are both incredibly supportive and the two of them have taught me the importance of working for what I want, never quitting and looking out for others. I hope to one day embody all of these traits, both as a person and as a therapist. I can't wait for them and my three sisters to come and visit me in March!!

Here's to learning, growing and living life to the fullest over the next six months!