Keiser PTA Students Easing Back-to-School Burden for Foster Children

As children return to the classroom this week, Keiser University students in the Physical Therapist Assistant program are doing their part to make sure kids in foster care have the school supplies they need to succeed.

“It’s a good way for us to do a little bit to make a big difference,” said Angela Gonzalez, who joined classmates in the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) to gather donations from students, faculty and staff on the Keiser University Fort Lauderdale campus.

Those donations included backpacks with notebooks, folders, pencils, and other essential school supplies to benefit SOS Children’s Village – Florida, a Coconut Creek-based nonprofit that provides care for abused, or children suffering from forms of neglect in South Florida.


“Community outreach is at the essence of what the APTA student chapter is about,” said Dorice Ross, a Keiser PTA professor. “Our students understand it’s not just about performing physical therapy, it’s about helping the community and promoting our profession as well.”

The back-to-school drive was coordinated through a partnership with Health Rehab of Coral Springs, which has been placing Keiser University students in clinical positions for years.

“Thanks to Keiser students, we’ve doubled our supplies,” said Elmer Pillon, a managing partner at Health Rehab who accepted the Keiser school supplies on behalf of SOS Children’s Village – Florida. “So, that’s 72 foster kids who will be fully equipped for the school season.”

This year’s effort comes as preparing to go back to school can add up. A Deloitte study projects an average spending per child of $597, compared to $661 in 2022.

Physical Therapist Assistant

Keiser University trains students who pursue an Associate of Science degree in Physical Therapist Assistant to assist in the management of conditions, such as arthritis, cerebrovascular accident (stroke), spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, sports injuries, cerebral palsy, cardiac and pulmonary pathology, and other types of injuries and/or pathologies.

Keiser University is a private, independent, non-profit university serving 20,000 students at 21 Florida campuses, online, and two international sites. Co-founded in 1977 by Chancellor Arthur Keiser, Ph.D., and Evelyn Keiser, Keiser University currently offers more than 100 degrees from associate to the doctoral level. Keiser University is a designated Hispanic-Serving Institution, a member of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and was ranked No. 1 in the U.S. in providing Social Mobility by U.S. News and World Report in 2023.

Keiser physical therapist assistant students.

Keiser University students and faculty in the Physical Therapist Assistant program with their donated school supplies.

Keiser University physical therapist assistant students support children in foster care.

Keiser University students and faculty joined forces with Elmer Pillon of Health Rehab of Coral Springs to support the back-to-school drive.

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