Student Spotlight: Will Jackson
Will Jackson feels that he was lucky to find Gulf Coast State College. Originally from Jacksonville, AL and equipped with his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Auburn University, he knew he wanted to pursue a career that promoted healthy living and physical therapy but didn’t have a clear path. After vacationing with his family in Santa Rosa Beach and falling in love with the location, he started looking for schools in the area and found GCSC’s Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program. “I was apprehensive about coming to a smaller school, but found Gulf Coast to be an easy transition,” he said. “I have felt so welcome and have meshed very well with my classmates. I knew it was the right fit.”
Jackson was a competitive tennis player throughout high school, and the aches and pains associated with the sport are what originally drew him to a career in physical therapy. This led to an internship working with a local football team and solidified the fact that he wanted to help others with physical recovery. “At first I wanted to do athletic training but once I saw the scope of what physical therapy entails, I knew I wanted to help as many people as I could,” said Jackson.
Since enrolling at Gulf Coast, Jackson has received invaluable personal mentoring from his instructors. “Melinda Cumbaa and Kelli Walsingham are fantastic about working with each student and honing you in on the right direction,” said Jackson.
He plans to work in an athletic setting and aspires to pursue a doctorate degree after he’s completed the PTA program. “A doctoral program is something I’ve always wanted to do and the PTA program is a stepping stone for me to get my foot in the door,” said Jackson. “I’m glad that I found Gulf Coast. It is a highly rewarding place to be.”