Air Force dependent Kaitlin Crowell has received consecutive USA Funds/ThanksUSA scholarships totaling $6,000 for undergraduate studies at the University of Montana. Planning for a career in physical therapy, Kaitlin majors in Psychology with a Biology minor. She is a soccer student-athlete and explains that her educational and career goals stem from experiencing the clinical healing power of physical therapy as a patient and as an observer.
In March 2013, Kaitlin underwent compartment-release surgery on both legs. Initially, the recovery process impacted her participation in school, community activities, and several aspects of everyday life. Kaitlin wore walking boots and was wheelchair-bound for weeks.
“I am happy to say my surgery was successful but not without a lot of hardships. The road to a full recovery lasted much longer. The complete recovery time table was 12 months, as it takes 9-12 months for the nerves in my lower legs to repair themselves. Recovery required extensive therapy. It's this recovery process that reinforced my dream to become a physical therapist."
Fully recovered, Kaitlin reflects, "The scars left behind from surgery serve as a daily reminder to appreciate and never take for granted the blessing of good health and mobility." She is an enthusiastic member Montana Grizzlies Women’s Soccer Team and was named to the Academic All-Big Sky Conference during her freshman year.
“The dual role of student and athlete can be difficult and the hardship of financing my education while doing both is stressful. I am sincerely honored to have been selected as a recipient of the USA Funds/ThanksUSA scholarship. Thank you again for your thoughtful and generous gift!”