High School Seniors Get Inspired During Summer Internship


Sep 1, 2017

Every summer, Brooks Rehabilitation partners with the Duval County Public School system to offer nine-week internships to students who are interested in a career in rehabilitation or therapy. High school seniors are offered an opportunity to gain knowledge and real world experience in an area of interest.

Principals and teachers are asked to nominate driven, college-bound students who are considering careers in one of many different fields offered through the program. Students can select outpatient therapy,  adaptive sports, arts and recovery in senior care and, for the first time this year, research, technology or healthcare leadership. These students complete two-three hour sessions a week for nine weeks with a dedicated mentor to test the out their future career.

After the program is over, students can submit an essay about their experience in the hopes of winning a $1,000 scholarship.

Congratulations to Kayla Fitz, Breanna Brady and Dionna Shine. They each won a $1,000 scholarship for their hard work and insightful essays!

Kayla Fitz, who participated in Brooks Adaptive Sports & Recreation,  changed her focus from physical to occupational therapy after witnessing the program’s profound effects. She explained, “the Adaptive Sports program is based upon occupational therapy and focuses on spiritual well-being. I know how important it is for a person to be spiritually lifted, and I’ve witnessed first-hand how this program provides that. I can attest that occupational therapy helps dramatically. Programs such as this one change lives continuously, and I would like to do the same in the future.”

Breanna Brady interned in the Neuro Recovery Centerand the Motion Analysis Center. She not only gained basic rehabilitation knowledge, but also some life lessons along the way. “I have learned to heal one’s mind along with their injury. I have learned how to help one through some of the hardest times of their lives, but above all, I have learned to stand alongside someone and see them as a person rather than their disability,” she wrote.

Dionna Shine interned in the Brooks Rehabilitation Clinical Research Center. She said, “Research is definitely my calling; the idea of pushing the notion of what’s possible has always been inviting.” As the internship went on, Dionna realized that she was learning more than academics, she also learned how to relate to patients on a personal level. “The participants in the research changed me. Each and every one of them came in with different stories, but similarly they had a drive to push forward and not to look back. They never gave up and only smiled bigger when the challenges grew tougher. They were more than just participants who went through something life changing; they were people with names, and families, and stories that began to intersect with my story.”

Dejah Edwards and Sadia Saeed, who both interned in Brooks outpatient clinics, received an honorable mention and $500 scholarships for their essays and dedication to the program.

We hope all of the students who participated this summer found the program to be both educational and inspirational. We wish all of them well in their fall semesters at school and look forward to seeing them as future job applicants after graduation.

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