Damon Harrell submitted 2020-10-28

I am currently a student at Drake University, studying Pre-Physical Therapy. I plan on completing the 3- year program and transfer to a competitive school to finalize my Doctorate in Physical Therapy. I have been compassionated about this health care field since my senior year in high school. The decision to become a Physical Therapist started with having my own therapy sessions after a football injury. My therapist was very caring and had patience towards my recovery, this is what inspired me to seek this field of therapy. During my Junior and Senior years of high school, I spent some time volunteering at a local physical therapist office. During that time, I assisted with the outpatient therapy services. I was able to relate to the patients in the clinic and offer my empathy, to help them gain back their independence. Prior to this experience at the clinic, I had volunteered at my mother’s residential care facility. I assisted in the summer with the elderly and disabled individuals with mobility and activities. My mother is a Registered Nurse and she has taught me the value of caring for others. She says we must have a servitude attitude to our fellow man.

My recent experience in the health care field just this past summer is working with mental disability clients. I took a medication aide course that would allow me to work with these individuals in their homes. I also took a CPR and a First Aid Course through The American Heart Association. Prior to taking this course, my mother had performed CPR on one of her resident’s 7 months ago. She explained the feeling of trying to save someone, even when the odds were against that individual. She explained how it was hard to lose that individual but she tried everything in her own willpower and even prayed during this time to revive this individual. I felt her compassion for CPR and I was excited to take the course. During the class, I volunteered first to perform the demonstrations. I want to use my CPR skills whenever there is a need for it. Someday I would want to become an instructor to teach others how to save and serve others.

I have been raised in a household where my father serves as an outstanding Kansas City, Missouri Police officer of twenty-one years and my mother is a great nurse of that same tenure. They have modeled the importance of hard work and being a servant to others. They have instilled the value of servitude which encouraged me to volunteer hundreds of hours on weekends at a nursing home facility and during the summers giving back to the community. Some of the community service events I enjoyed volunteering for include “Parents Who Lost Children to Violence” and the “Kansas City, Missouri Police Department Violence Awareness events”. I also coach and mentor youth members of the Kansas City “Police Athletic League” which is a division within the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. I shadowed my father during his 12- year assignment as a Police officer assigned to the Police Athletic League (PAL). My favorite volunteer opportunity was working with the people that needed assistance, ones that are physical and mentally disabled.

Currently, I am a Resident Assistant (RA) at Drake, mentoring freshman students. One of my duties as a RA is to ensure that the students follow the COVID 19 rules wearing masks and keeping social distance. I feel that I am saving lives by enforcing the rules of the CDC and the University. I am learning that being a leader, I have to be the best example. I am also involved in the Student Union where I am the secretary. During my freshman year, I represented Drake at the Student Leadership conference in Oklahoma. My GPA for my freshman year was 3.16. I took IB classes in high school to prepare for College and also for the challenge.

My plan for post-graduation is to gain experience in a physical therapy clinic for about 2 years. After the 2 years will like to open up my own practice and hire a couple of other therapists. I would like to have my clinic in the heart of the city to serve individuals that are less fortunate. I would like to connect with the local high schools and mentor the upcoming students that are interested in physical therapy. I would like to establish an internship program for students that have finished their first year in college that is studying physical therapy.