Hard Work Pays Off for Physiotherapy’s Top Summa Cum Laude Graduate
Ms Jennifer Light won the award for Best Physiotherapy Student and obtained her Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree summa cum laude.
The 23-year-old high-flyer who matriculated from Kloof High School was named the class of 2014’s Best Physiotherapy Student and received several Merit Certificates and Dean’s Commendations throughout her undergraduate degree at UKZN.
‘It feels very surreal but at the same time it’s the most amazing feeling in the world,’ said Light after being capped at graduation. ‘To look back on the past four years, at all the ups and downs, and see how far I have come is really a great feeling. I feel honoured and it is an achievement for which I am really proud,’ she said.
‘I have always wanted to work with people in a physical and emotional manner, to contribute to the well-being of their lives and to help them reach their highest potential.’
Light said throughout her degree she worked and studied with the mind set that her future patients deserved the best treatment that she could offer and hence gave her all in everything she did.
‘My single biggest motivator is my desire to help people. I am driven by challenges and the satisfaction of overcoming them.’
She said the most significant obstacle she experienced was finding a balance between all the different aspects of life. ‘I made a lot of sacrifices in my personal life to get through my undergraduate degree.
‘Of all my choices of where to study, UKZN stood out as being the most appropriate as it is close to home and was financially viable. I also knew the degree would be very demanding so I felt it was important for me to stay at home for the support and stability that offers.’
Light said she was currently completing her community service at a ‘beautiful little district hospital called St Apollinaris in Creighton’.
She said she hoped to stay in government for a while as there was a demand for physiotherapy services.
While she looks forward to pursuing her masters degree in the near future, she also wants to travel the world, work and experience different cultural settings.
Light said her family, friends and incredibly patient boyfriend had been her major support. ‘It really makes it a lot easier when your support system is understanding and supportive of your dream,’ she said.