Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA boasts a competitive graduate study program. Only 5 students are annually admitted into the dual degree program to receive a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Master of Science in Athletic Training. Talk about heavy competition! Jarred Boyd eagerly enrolled unto the intense program just two weeks after completing his undergraduate studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014 only 6.7% of the total population of working Physical Therapists identified as Black or African American (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014). Now working as a physical therapist in Northern, VA, Jarred discusses his journey while battling Washington D.C.’s notorious traffic during rush hour.
You have accomplished quite a lot in such a short period of time. What was your most challenging moment of adversity?
“I did not immediately get accepted into a university after high school. I wanted to attend VCU but unfortunately I couldn’t and it hurt. I had a pretty good grade point average and I did “ok” on my SAT’s. To see all of my friends going away to school was devastating while I went to work at Walmart as a Stocker. I ended up going to a community college for a semester to raise my GPA. I worked hard and earned straight A’s and applied to VCU again and was accepted.”
What motivated you to continue on your path after being rejected?
“Having experienced a somewhat difficult upbringing, I discovered earlier on the importance of having a positive role model in ones life, especially a strong male figure. As a result, I chose to serve as role for my younger siblings, three sisters and a brother. The lack of a strong male role model in my life was enough of a motivation for me to strive for greatness so I can serve as a role model to my future kids and kids with no father figure.“
In the future, what are your goals?
“I would love to create or establish a minority or diversity committee for my profession. In the medical field, you hardly see people of color. I also want to go back to my hometown and places that have helped me in my career; give speeches and educate the under-represented on healthcare and potential jobs.”
Have you taken any downtime, completing three challenging programs simultaneously and now working full-time?
“I love what I do. I want people to really find their passion. When I go to work, it does not feel like a job. I do not mind being on the grind and putting the work in because I want to be the best in my field. As a Black male, I have to work ten times harder than my counterparts. But, I do enjoy going to the gym, it is my happy place.”
Is there a formula to your success?
“Dedication + diligence= SUCCESS. I have it tattooed on my arm. You have to have that dedication to your craft and also the diligence to see it through. Have faith also and pray, especially during the tough days. Have a tunnel vision mentality and tell yourself “I’m going to block out all the negativity and people who said that I couldn’t do it, I’m going to do it!” Remain persistent and you can reach your goals. Never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. I believe that mindset always yields success in the long run.”
images courtesy Jarred Boyd
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