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Blinn physical therapist assistant students send holiday cheer to U.S. military service members

Students partnered with local organizations to assemble more than 100 care packages

Students partnered with local organizations to assemble more than 100 care packages

December 12, 2023

The Blinn College District Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program recently partnered with local organizations to arrange more than 100 care packages for U.S. military service members stationed overseas this holiday season.

“Our students are dedicated to healing and are drawn to this profession because of their desire to make a difference,” Program Director Kelsey Maki said. “These care boxes reflect that same spirit. By working together to gather donations and physically assemble each package, our students learn valuable collaborative skills and make a positive impact on the community.”

Since 2015, students in Blinn’s PTA Program have worked with local organizations to raise money and collect donations to ensure service members stationed throughout the world receive a box of holiday cheer. Brimming with snacks, household items, games, and handmade holiday cards from area school children, the boxes are the result of months of planning, outreach, and organizing. This year marks the project’s most successful collaboration with 108 total boxes being distributed, a significant increase from the previous record of 23 boxes.

“Our cohorts are very motivated to give back when we can,” said first-year PTA student Mackenzie Deming, who helped coordinate the project. “In our profession we help people physically and emotionally better themselves, so being able to give back to people is what we as individuals love wholeheartedly. Seeing how much the community was willing to support people in the military also was heartwarming to witness.”

PTAs assist people of all ages with medical issues or health-related conditions that limit their ability to move and perform functional activities in their daily lives. Among their responsibilities, PTAs teach patients exercises to improve mobility, strength, and coordination; train patients to walk with crutches, canes, or walkers; and provide treatments such as ultrasound, electrical stimulation, heat, cold, and massage.

Blinn’s PTA Program is located at the RELLIS Academic Alliance Complex at Texas A&M-RELLIS in Bryan. Part of a 16,000-square-foot health sciences simulation center, Blinn’s physical therapy lab provides students with innovative instruction and training. Through the physical therapy lab, students can put their coursework into practice immediately through hands-on simulation. Blinn students also participate in clinical rotations to gain experience prior to graduation.

Blinn has maintained a near perfect first-attempt pass rate on the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) and a 100% employment rate since 2019, which is a testament to the variety of jobs available. PTAs can gain employment in hospitals, outpatient clinics or offices, inpatient rehabilitation facilities, education or research centers, schools, hospices, workplace environments, fitness centers, sports training facilities, and military settings.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Texas maintains the highest level of employment for PTAs with a mean annual income of $73,770.

The 2024 application deadline for Blinn’s PTA Program is March 1, 2024. To learn more, visit

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