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HKR student gets a leg up

"I applied for it back in October thinking 'well the worst that they can say is no', while honestly thinking there was not much of a chance of me getting it... I found out on the scholarship's website that I was a recipient and I actually signed back out thinking I had gotten into the wrong section of the website," said Fleet. "I then had to read it two or three times to even process that I had just received $15,000 towards my education! I sat at my computer desk, in my room, by myself and just started to cry I was so happy. When my family came in thinking something was wrong, all I could do was point at the computer screen for them to read. Everyone was ecstatic."

Fleet, who graduated in April with a bachelor in kinesiology (co-op) honours from the School of Human Kinetics and Recreation (HKR), was one of 2,000 to receive a scholarship through the program.

Fleet said she has always wanted a career in health care. "In fact, up until I was 16 years old I was determined to become a physician. That is until I participated in MedQuest, a summer program hosted by Memorial University's Faculty of Medicine during which I had the opportunity to visit the Miller Centre in St. John's."

It was during this visit that Fleet had her first sense of what physiotherapists do and, with that, she discovered her future career. "I cannot say that it was one particular aspect of physiotherapy that initially caught my interest. At that time it was more of the entire composition of what makes a physiotherapist: the direct client interaction; the ability to analyze a situation from many view points and decide upon the correct treatment plan; using evidence based practices surrounding human anatomy, physiology, biomechanics, psychology; and, perhaps most important to me, the ability to truly make a positive difference to someone's quality of life."

Fleet's undergraduate choice at Memorial proved to be ideal as a basis for physiotherapy. "It has given me unparalleled opportunities to learn about the human body in terms of anatomy, physiology, psychology, biomechanics, as well as participate in an honours research group designing and completing original research. Additionally, my undergraduate degree program allowed me to experience the practical application of what I have learned in the classroom in real world settings through work terms, an opportunity not all universities offer."

While at Memorial, she completed two work terms as a physiotherapy aide. "I see physiotherapy as more than just a career choice; the act of helping people every day to improve their health is a lifestyle." In September, Fleet entered the Queen's University School of Rehabilitation Therapy Physical Therapy program. Her plan is to specialize in paediatric physiotherapy.

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