Annie Wong wants to become a physical therapist working in a preschool setting.

by Chris Gasiewski

“I know a lot of special needs children and I want to be able to help them out.”—Annie Wong

Annie Wong’s goals are as clear as glass. Having volunteered at New York Presbyterian-Weil Cornell Medical Center after she graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in biology has helped to determine her career outlook.

Observing physical therapists at the medical center, as well as at the (YAI) Roosevelt Children’s Center at NYL—a school-setting that services children with multiple disabilities who may be medically fragile, sensory impaired and augmentative alternative communication users—it helped solidify her choice.

“I want to combine the pediatric field with physical therapy,” the Queens, New York, native said, “either in a preschool setting or in a school setting. I know a lot of special needs children and I want to be able to help them out.”

Annie has been helping herself by pursuing University College’s Certificate in Basic Sciences for Health Professions, which already has 12 alumni who have been accepted into medical school. The certificate program is beneficial to those looking to complete medical school prerequisites before applying or to brush up on previously acquired science skills.

Ms. Wong, taking advantage of both, will finish the program this May. And she plans to apply to physical therapy schools in New York City and in the Pittsburgh area—the latter to be closer to her boyfriend, Anderson Zhang.

“The [basic sciences] program is very flexible. They let me choose whatever classes I needed,” she said. “I will be applying to physical therapy schools this year, and [University College] has helped me write the recommendation letters. They help you with that.”

She’s also taken advantage of the numerous resources University College and Adelphi offer, and speaks highly of Adjunct Professor Shaden Ryglewicz and of Robert Schwartz, director of pre-professional programs.

“He’s been helpful, sending out emails about opportunities to help increase your marketability,” Ms. Wong said of Mr. Schwartz, noting that she applied to Virginia Commonwealth University’s Summer Academic Enrichment Program, offered through the Division for Health Sciences Diversity in Richmond. “There are a lot of opportunities that we can apply to.”

Becoming a physical therapist is her ultimate goal, and it’s one that can be attributed to her time at CosmoKidz Preschool and Daycare Center in Fresh Meadows, New York, where she is the head teacher of the 4-year-old classroom. There, she said, she “helps create lesson plans and supervise the children,” influencing her decision to continue her education.

“I wanted to show the PT schools that I can handle a rigorous science curriculum,” she said. “Adelphi was one of the programs that had the science certificate. The material is manageable.”

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