10:57 AM

Joseph Ruiz relies on faith to complete physical therapist assistant degree

Student of the Week: Joseph Ruiz

Through the support of family and his faith in God, Joseph Ruiz says he has endured through many challenges while working on his future career as a Physical Therapist Assistant.

October is National Physical Therapy Month. Joseph, 36, is currently a Level II student in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at STC.

“While I was driving with my family on our way to church one day, we got into a really bad accident on the expressway, and through that process I had really bad back problems. As a result of the accident and everything that happened, I ended up having to go through physical therapy,” Joseph said. “I saw how the physical therapist and the physical therapist assistants worked and helped me. I thought, you know what, this is something that I can do too.”

Originally a teacher’s aide, Ruiz said he instead used a traumatic event to inspire his future career choice following a serious car accident.

For the next year, Joseph said he and his wife saved enough money so he could return to college. Three years later, Joseph says he is now close to graduating and plans to receive his degree in May 2019. He was elected by his peers for two consecutive years to serve as President of the Student PTA Club for the Class of 2019. Joseph is developing not only as a future clinician, but as a leader as well.

“For students who are in the same position I am in, I would like to encourage them and let them know that they aren't alone and that there are other students who are going through the same thing,” Joseph said. “The great thing about STC is that it's built for someone in my situation where even if you already have a family and you have finances, you still can find a career. You know your education is going to be affordable to the point where it won’t affect your family financially moving forward.”

"It's a true testament that when you put your trust in faith, you put your foot to the pedal and you work hard, good things happen.”
Student of the Week Joseph Ruiz

Top three accomplishments:

“Personally my family is my biggest accomplishment. I was so blessed when I got married that not only did I gain a wife, but I gained a son. It's hard to explain the fear that I had going back to school so going back and being able to excel even though I haven't graduated is an accomplishment in itself.”

“And then another accomplishment is that life doesn't stop. You constantly have things going on outside of the PTA program, but the PTA program itself is such a huge blessing. It challenges us. It demands hard work, and it is work that makes you proud.

“I have had the opportunity on a personal note to just build my faith in God. I am a youth leader at my church. My wife is a worship leader at the church and we are currently going through becoming pastors for the church. I would say that is also another important accomplishment only because I'm not perfect, none of us are. But it's a true testament to when you put your trust in your faith, and you put your foot to the pedal and you work hard, good things happen.”