Hi! My name is Jaevan Burke. As far back as I can remember, I had a passion for sports and always enjoyed helping others to live a full and pain-free life. When thinking about my future and deciding what my career path would look like, I had never truly discovered a profession that would afford me the opportunity to receive the best of both worlds; work and what I loved. However, in 2009 as a young track athlete, I suffered my first grade 3 tear in my hamstring during a race. Around this time, my grandfather’s health began to deteriorate drastically and coupled with arthritis, his mobility was directly affected. In both cases, care from a licensed physiotherapist was necessary and had proven to be a tremendous benefit. It was then I not only understood the importance of this service and profession, but it was at this point my passion for this field was birthed and my dream profession realized. Witnessing first-hand the impact this alternative form of medicine had on my recovery as well as on my ageing grandparents, piqued my interest. I began exploring the profession and in 2011, I volunteered at Total Rehabilitation, (a private local therapy clinic), to see first-hand, the “art in action”. This experience affirmed my feelings and solidified my plans in pursuit of a career in physiotherapy.
This made the decision to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree at the University of South Florida an easy one. However, since degrees in physical therapy are offered solely at the Master’s level, I believed that a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science would serve as a platform that would bring me closer to my goal of obtaining a masters in Physiotherapy. I enrolled in USF College of Education in 2015 and completed my studies in 2018.
At the end of my three years at USF, I worked for a year contract at Encompass Health, a therapy hospital that gave me hands-on experience with patients and the opportunity to be creative with therapy. Upon completion, I returned home and began working with SPORTT as a Strength and Conditioning Coach. It became more apparent that Trinidad and Tobago’s public health system and the field of Sport are in critical need of therapists.
Since then, I have become more determined to pursue my dream of becoming a physiotherapist in hopes of rehabilitating athletes to ensure that they are at peak performance levels when competing at both the national and international level, but more critically, enhancing the quality of life for the general public, especially the elderly and those who cannot access and /or afford physiotherapy. Interestingly enough according to Janice L. Zimbelman and other researchers; the United States alone will suffer a shortage of physical therapists beyond 2030. The impact of this shortage will be felt more in developing countries. While there are moves toward increasing the number of qualified therapists, I feel compelled to be a part of this process and offer myself and services to my home country. Thus, it is important for me to once again, further my education so that I can contribute and make a difference within the national community, from a place of knowledge and experience.
In February of this year, I learnt that I had been conditionally accepted to the Masters in Physiotherapy program at Brunel University London. This, as you can well imagine, is not a simple undertaking. I will therefore need to undergo fundraising initiatives to make this dream a reality. However, owing to the COVID restrictions, I will not be able to put forward as many events as I would like to achieve my goal and so, have set up this page to assist with fundraising. I am therefore inviting you to partner with me by contributing any financial assistance towards my tuition. I am committed to the vision and firmly believe that this will not only be a life-changing opportunity, but the experience will allow me to work within the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Sport to secure a better quality of life for the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, and by extension the Caribbean.
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