Rizing Tide Foundation Announces First Annual Crest Scholarship Recipients

Three scholarships will be awarded to BIPOC students pursuing careers in physical therapy
Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 6:00 AM MDT

PHOENIX, Nov. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Rizing Tide, a foundation dedicated to inspiring more racial diversity and inclusiveness in the physical therapy (PT) workforce, today announced the first class of recipients for their Crest scholarship program. Three BIPOC graduate students enrolled in U.S based Doctor of Physical Therapy programs were selected to receive full scholarship awards to help further their education. Additionally, two Crest 'Rizing Star' winners were chosen to receive partial scholarships.

Rizing Tide (PRNewsfoto/Rizing Tide)
Rizing Tide (PRNewsfoto/Rizing Tide)

Each student will receive up to $14,000 each to subsidize their tuition, room and board, books or fees for this school year with the opportunity to renew annually until graduation. The scholarship recipients were selected by an esteemed panel of diverse professionals in the industry and awarded based on future impact potential, academic performance, personal character and conduct, leadership and other distinguished traits.

"We received so many exceptional applications for our Crest scholarships, validating the industry need and the Rizing Tide mission," said Dr. Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC, founder of Rizing Tide. "The applicant pool was fiercely competitive and we are thrilled to award this distinctive class of inaugural Crest scholars to these outstanding and talented future therapists. They represent the next generation of industry leaders and we couldn't be more thrilled to support them in the completion of their academic endeavors."

The Rizing Tide Foundation Crest scholarship recipients include:

  • Ricardo Locci, from Ohio, who is attending Northwestern University
  • Elisha Li, from Illinois, who will be attending Washington University in St. Louis
  • Ruth Morales-Flores, from Illinois, who is attending Northwestern University

The Rizing Tide Foundation Crest 'Rizing Star' scholarship recipients include:

  • Jacqueline Hua, from New Jersey, who is attending Northwestern University
  • Tyrell McGee, from Colorado, who is attending Regis University

"The selection committee scoured each application and focused on these five strong recipients that display future impact potential, who excel in their academic performance, have superior character, conduct, work ethic and more," said Dr. Gene Shirokobrod, committee member of Rizing Tide and Chief Executive Officer at Recharge. "We are confident that this first cohort of Crest scholars will go out and make waves in the future of the physical therapy industry."

Jannenga, physical therapist and co-founder of WebPT, founded The Rizing Tide Foundation to ignite the flywheel on building a more racially diverse and inclusive PT industry. As a clinician and longtime industry advocate, Jannenga recognizes every patient deserves to feel represented by their healthcare provider. Yet, the industry currently falls short. While 39.9% of the U.S. population identifies as BIPOC, only 22.2% of employed PTs identify as BIPOC. And according to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), 49.95% fewer BIPOC applicants who use the PT Centralized Application Service are accepted into a program compared to their white counterparts.

This is the first iteration of the Crest scholarship program. The next Crest scholarship application process opens June 2022. For more information on the foundation and scholarship programs, please visit: www.rizing-tide.com.

Rizing Tide was founded in 2020 by Dr. Heidi Jannenga, PT, DPT, ATC to help bridge the diversity gap in the physical therapy industry. She is the co-founder of WebPT and a physical therapist with more than 25 years of experience in the rehab therapy world. The foundation awards yearly scholarships to BIPOC therapists and PT students to make a meaningful, generational impact on the industry. Learn more at www.rizing-tide.com.

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