From left, Sierra Sosa, Jasmine Grays and Daniella Ithzak
Three Florida A&M University (FAMU) graduate students were selected as the 2021-2022 FAMU-FSU K-12 Individuals with Development Disabilities (KiDDs) Scholars.
The scholars are Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) student Jasmine Grays of Jackson, Mississippi; and Master of Occupational Therapy (MSOT) students Daniella Ithzak of Sebastian, Florida, and Sierra Sosa of Tampa.
These students will be participating in a year-long interdisciplinary training project to meet the needs of children with disabilities. This project is supported by a $1.24 million Department of Education (DOE) grant under the supervision of professors Dawn Brown-Cross and Aurelia Alexander.
This DOE grant was awarded to FSU and FAMU jointly, and will provide a total of 45 graduate students enrolled in FAMU’s DPT and OT programs; and the FSU Speech Language Pathology (SLP) and Special Education programs with funding and interdisciplinary training.
These graduate DPTs, OTs, SLPs, and Special Educator trainees have committed, a minimum of one year of service after graduation, to treat children experiencing high intensity needs such as intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, deaf/hard of hearing, autism spectrum disorders, and multiple other disabilities.
“Working with children takes an immense amount of in-person learning that cannot always be gained in the classroom,” said Itzhak, a first year Occupational Therapy student. “Having the opportunity to combine classroom knowledge with field knowledge during my first year of OT school will make me a much stronger occupational therapist in the long run.”
The KiDDs project accepts applications from eligible enrolled FAMU and FSU graduate students every January-March 2021-2024.