Third-Year Scholarship Effort by Matt Smith Physical Therapy Expands to Include College Students and Cohort Program
Las Vegas –This fall, Matt Smith Physical Therapy is changing the game for four local students.
Matt Smith Physical Therapy and the Latin Chamber of Commerce have selected four students to receive the 2014 Changing Lives Scholarship, which provides money for college and ongoing mentoring from healthcare professionals. New this year is the addition of a cohort program, designed by the Latin Chamber with participation from Matt Smith Physical Therapy. The cohort program enables students to achieve success by pairing them with executives from companies and educational institutions.
The group of Las Vegas professionals plans to meet monthly with scholarship recipients, helping to ensure they have what they need to succeed. This is in addition to the in-clinic mentoring program held at Matt Smith Physical Therapy. Within Matt Smith Physical Therapy, four management team members and several physical therapists are involved as volunteer mentors.
“It’s no mystery that education is short funded from a national, state and local level. While we cannot change the course of an entire industry we can change the lives of a few individuals,” said company founder, Matt Smith.
Matt Smith Physical Therapy was the first business to volunteer to mentor the Latin Chamber’s scholarship recipients throughout their college careers in addition to donating money.
“Matt wanted to make sure that his investment is a personal investment,” said Dan Tafoya, co-chairman of the Latin Chamber of Commerce’s education committee.
This fall will mark the third time Matt Smith Physical Therapy has participated in the Latin Chamber of Commerce’s scholarship program. A total of 10 high-achieving students in the Las Vegas valley have received the scholarships. Each of the annual recipients receives $1,500 from Matt Smith Physical Therapy and a $1,000 match from the Latin Chamber of Commerce. To be eligible, high school students have to qualify as low income, have a 3.5 GPA and a desire to pursue the health sciences field at an in-state school. Second-year college students need a 3.2 GPA to qualify.
“It’s a partnership that’s working and growing,” Tafoya said. “If we had more people like Matt Smith helping that would be phenomenal. It’s pretty unique. Most people just write checks and we never hear from them until it’s time to write another check. You do take on a high level of responsibility when you commit at that level.”
The 2014 Changing Lives Scholarship recipients are: Guadalupe Tovar and Yajaira Dominguez, from Rancho High School, and Jazelle Erives and Juan Guzman Morales, from Nevada State College.
Tovar graduated from Rancho with a 3.692 GPA and received an advanced honors diploma. This fall she will be a freshman at UNLV majoring in science with plans on becoming a doctor. Dominguez also graduated from Rancho with a 3.942 GPA and received an advanced honors diploma. She is the first in her family to attend college, and will be attending UNLV this fall focusing on science.
Guzman Morales, a student at Nevada State College, finished his first year with a 3.8 GPA. He is majoring in biology with plans to become a pathologist. He is also the first in his family to attend college. Erives, a student at Nevada State College, finished her first year with a 3.828 GPA. She is pursuing a degree in nursing with plans to become a nurse practitioner. She is the first to attend college in her family.
About Matt Smith Physical Therapy
Locally owned and operated, Matt Smith Physical Therapy maintains 14 locations in the Las Vegas valley, each of which have bilingual staff. The practice specializes in sports medicine, pilates, spine, certified hand therapy, automobile accident/personal injury, and foot and ankle orthotics. Founded by Matt Smith, the practice is committed to changing lives through physical therapy and community outreach. For more information on Matt Smith Physical Therapy, visit www.mattsmithpt.com.
About the Latin Chamber of Commerce
The Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce promotes the interests of more than 1,500 members, as well as Nevada’s 7,000 Hispanic-owned businesses and 500,000 Hispanic residents. Since its inception in 1976, its mission has been to develop, advance and promote Hispanics and small businesses and to enhance the economic, political, social, educational and cultural interests of Hispanics in Nevada. For more information on the Latin Chamber of Commerce, visit www.lvlcc.com.