Hispanic Heritage Month 2023 - Student Highlight October 5, 2023
Get to know Kevin RodriguezOct 5, 2023
Story by Abigail Castro
Kevin Rodriguez is a first-generation college student and is in his final-year of the CU Anschutz Physical Therapy Program. He became interested in physical therapy through sports; he saw the impact Physical Therapists have on their patients and wanted to be a part of this dynamic. Kevin graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Exercise Science. He then worked as a Physical Therapy Technician to learn about the profession and developed a stronger passion for helping others. Furthermore, he learned about the many barriers the LatinX community faces when seeking to access healthcare – specifically the language barrier between Spanish-speaking patients and primarily English-speaking physicians. Kevin assisted in translation services and was able to see the benefit that his diverse perspective brought among his patients.
Kevin’s mentors at his clinic motivated him to pursue Physical Therapy, and he decided to attend CU Anschutz due to its commitment to diversity. Kevin’s time in the CU Physical Therapy Program has allowed him to create meaningful connections among the staff and within his cohort. Moreover, Kevin is thankful for the faculty that supports him in his journey to becoming a Physical Therapist and for embracing his diversity.
When reflecting on what Hispanic Heritage Month means to Kevin, he takes a moment to thank his parents. “They have given everything to provide my brother and I a better life than they had growing up. They have taught me to work hard for the things that I want in life and to not back down because of my heritage. They have taught me the importance of family traditions and to never forget where I came from. I cannot thank them enough for everything they do for my brother and me,” he says. “I get excited about continuing with family traditions and sharing them with other communities outside of mine. Nothing beats having some hot coffee and conchas late at night with family and friends, to having a carne asada on a summer afternoon.”Kevin is proud of the Mexican community that he comes from, and of the many achievements it has reached despite various barriers. As a first-generation student, he hopes to continue that tradition of accomplishment. He hopes his academic and career success will encourage other members of the Hispanic community to pursue careers in healthcare as well – pointing out that diverse perspectives and Spanish language skills are currently in high demand. “All it takes is advocating for yourself and not being afraid to ask for help,” he says. “Stay true to yourself and trust the process!”