Scholarships can be a way to establish a legacy, promote a profession, give back and provide a bright future for a student. A recent scholarship endowment for the College of Health Sciences and Professions’ Physical Therapy Program is doing just that.
Like many students, Physical Therapist Stephen Trotta did not make it through college on his own. He earned degrees in zoology, physical therapy and health administration and did so due in part to the generosity of others. To honor those who meant so much to his education, Trotta established the Trotta, Haste and Schulman Physical Therapy Scholarship in 2013 to benefit physical therapy graduate students.
The scholarship is named after his wife Jennifer, his parents, Louis and Janet Trotta, his aunt, Patricia Haste, and his freshman year roommate, Chuck Schulman — whom Trotta likened to "an older brother I never had." According to Trotta, they all helped a college kid who had limited funds financially complete his educational goals.
This past December, Haste passed away unexpectedly. She left behind a grieving family but one takes solace in having been close to someone that Trotta described as “an angel walking on Earth.”
From Haste’s estate, funds were produced that allowed for the endowment of the Trotta, Haste and Schulman Scholarship which will help financially assist an Ohio University physical therapy student.
“She had always wanted to participate and be involved and donate some money to (the scholarship),” Trotta said of Haste. “I told her when I can I am going to put whatever I can to donate in her name. She was one of the nicest people I know and I was fortunate to have a special relationship with her.”
Trotta explained that when he moved to Ohio from Massachusetts, he would often return home to work and was able to stay with Haste, which helped them grow closer.
For Trotta, his aunt’s last gift continues to fuel his support for the physical therapy program which he called “a second family.” He said the scholarship as a whole completes the circle in honoring the people who helped him succeed in his academic ventures.
“I wish I had a million dollars to leave (the program),” Trotta said.
He added that he hopes to be able to continue to help the physical therapy program in the future.
Contact Elizabeth Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in supporting the Trotta, Haste and Schulman Physical Therapy Scholarship or starting a scholarship fund within the College of Health Sciences and Professions.