"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”

  — Mr. Rogers, from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood 

I’m a big kid at heart, so working in a place where I can swing from a zipline, climb up a rock wall and jump in a lush pit of pillows while helping children move to the best of their ability is right up my alley. Doesn’t my job sound amazing? No one told me about the endless hours of documentation *facepalm*,  and yet I still love what I do. 

I was introduced to physical therapy by my youngest cousin Devon, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was a toddler. Devon was a great representation of some of the kids I would encounter later in life. He actually gave one of his therapists the nickname “Queen of Darkness”. His wit, strength and tenacity inspired me to want to help kids like him reach their highest potential. Here I am, almost 16 years later and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. 

"I continue to believe that if children are given the necessary tools to succeed, they will succeed beyond their wildest dreams!" 

  — David Vitter, Former U.S. Senator

“Miss Jennifer, I got this…” When I hear this from one of my pop stars it is MUSIC TO MY EARS! Sure, to get to that point I’ve probably endured countless tears, being peed on, kicked in the face by a prosthetic leg, run over a by a wheelchair, shins rammed by a gait trainer, stabbed with a Lofstrand crutch, preteen attitudes, questioning what the heck is on my pants at the end of the day, a few “No, I don’t want to’”s , and maybe even a temper tantrum or 10. But honestly, all I ever remember are the smiles and proud faces when these very same kiddos try something new on their own, reach a goal, and realize just how strong and capable they are.

I could lead with where I went to school (Loma Linda University), the highest degree I’ve attained (Doctorate), or how long I’ve been practicing as a physical therapist (10 years), but at the end of the day these things are not what matters. What matters most is my passion for helping build up strong children, no matter their level of ability.