Congratulations to Nicole Casagrand, second-year DPT student and SPTA Treasurer, for being selected as the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP) recipient.
“I was so excited when I received the news that I had to call my sister so she could read the email to make sure it was real,” Casagrand said.
The HPSP scholarship is awarded to students pursuing a program that results in a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in order to increase the supply of physical therapists for the VA and the nation. This award particularly strikes close to home for Casagrand because her grandfathers and father are military veterans.
As an HPSP recipient, Casagrand will provide physical therapy services in a VA health care facility for two years after she receives her degree to fulfill a requirement of the award. Although this is an obligation for scholarship recipients, this falls in line with her dedication to rehabilitate those who serve.
“When I discovered my passion for physical therapy, I learned about this scholarship program and became motivated to apply. My passion was further developed when I completed observation hours at Walter Reed Medical Center,” she explained. “Seeing the patients in the amputee rehabilitation center who were so motivated and determined to get back to a level of function we take for granted really inspired me and had given me a strong desire to work with this specific population.”
Now she can work toward her goals without worrying about a financial burden, as the scholarship will provide Casagrand with a monthly stipend for educational purposes, such as tuition, required fees, and books.
“This is something that I have wanted and worked towards for so long, so to see it pay off is something I will always remember.”