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Blinn physical therapy student finds career path through health sciences summer camp

Posted at 8:09 AM, Mar 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-08 09:09:09-05

BRYAN, Texas — Every summer, the Health Science Summer Camp takes place at the Blinn RELLIS campus in Bryan for 7th and 8th graders.

One of the campers has now returned to the Blinn RELLIS campus, but this time as a student studying physical therapy.

“I attended the camps twice,” student and former camper Sarah Denman said. “I really liked PTA and so I started looking into it, comparing different career choices I had.”

Denman is in her second semester of the physical therapy assistant program at the Blinn RELLIS campus.

Her experience as a health science summer camper helped her stand out when applying to the program.

“I know that Sarah mentioned it whenever she interviewed for the program and that was something that sparked us immediately with her,” PTA program director Kelsey Macki said.

The camp gives students the opportunity to be hands on and learn different aspects of health sciences.

Denman enjoyed the hands-on simulation labs, leading her to pursue a career in PT.

“I think it’s beautiful to look at, the evolvement of what you see,” Denman said. “You could have somebody that was in a terrible car accident, and they can’t walk, and then as you keep going, they keep gaining skills and they keep gaining movements and learning things and eventually, you’re walking with them.” 

Macki said students get hands on experience starting day one in the program.

“By the second and the third clinical, they’re ready to go,” Macki said. “The CI’s [clinical instructors] give them really good feedback and they are a good asset to us in that they train them out in the clinical setting with real patients.”

Blinn’s PTA program has a 100% employment rate.

“A lot of our graduates have job offers before they even walk across the stage,” Macki said. “The community, the local clinicians, love our Blinn graduates.”

Denman and her mom’s takeaway advice for students figuring out their path is to just try something new.

“You may try the health science camp and be interested in rad tech or nursing, or not even be interested in health science but you learn something,” Denman said.

“Our kids sometimes need a little push to try something new,” Sarah's mom Miranda Denman said. “It’s not necessarily that they’re going to step in and find that spark the first time that they try something but getting the opportunity to try different thing is such a valuable opportunity for all of our kids.”