Forman Scholar Gage Ausland Aims to Make a Difference in the Lives of Young Athletes as a Physical Therapist
Growing up as an active athlete, Forman Scholar Gage Ausland often found himself on the mend and in need of physical therapy. Over the years, he came to appreciate how the physical therapists he worked with focused their time on more than just the healing of his body. They were genuinely interested in learning about his hopes and dreams, helping him stay focused on the road to recovery.
With his senior year upon him, and remembering the many physical therapists he worked with in years past, Gage knew deep down that he too wanted to make a difference in the lives of young athletes. In pursuit of that dream, Gage has decided to embark upon Thomas Jefferson University’s six-year Doctor of Physical Therapy program, following in the footsteps of the impactful physical therapists he worked with as a young player. After spending the first three years earning a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science degree from TJU, Gage will set his sights on earning his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree after three more years of study.
“As an impressionable young athlete, the physical therapists I worked with helped me to not only become a better player but a better person,” Gage said. “I want to commit my professional career as a physical therapist to being that same type of role model for future middle school and high school athletes. While working with a professional sports team will always be a dream of mine, I think it will be much more rewarding to work with school-aged players, keeping them on the right path and supporting them as they continue along their academic and athletic development.”
While Gage excelled on the court playing basketball for Salem High School, he also made sure to challenge himself academically as a member of the Academic League, Model UN and Student Council. He took numerous International Baccalaureate courses, and, as a part of the program, travelled to Edinburgh, Scotland, for the IB Global Student Conference in the summer of 2019. While there, Gage met students from China, South America and the West Coast of the United States who had all come together to learn more about battling against climate change.
“The IB conference allowed me to form lasting relationships with students from all over the world. A few friends and I actually flew out to California earlier this summer to visit with some of the friends we had made while in Scotland,” Gage said.
In the future, Gage plans to relocate to the Golden State, with the ultimate goal of living by the San Diego beach and working with young athletes. For now, though, he has his sights set on completing a successful first semester at TJU. While COVID-19 has led to some uncertainties as to how the semester will pan out, Gage is excited to take in new experiences in a new atmosphere. He’s also confident the Forman S. Acton Educational Foundation will continue to support him every step of the way.
“It has been a pleasure to get to know each of the staff members who tirelessly work behind the scenes at the Foundation,” Gage said. “I’ve also enjoyed getting to know and growing alongside the other amazing Forman Scholars who I’ve come to count as great friends. I eagerly await to hear about all of their future accomplishments and achievements.”
To those students still in high school, Gage shares a simple piece of advice: Life is short, so don’t be afraid to say “yes” to any opportunities that may come around.
“I’ve only just come to realize, now that I’ve finished high school, how quickly life can pass you by,” Gage said. “I advise all students who are still in high school to live in the moment and have fun. You never know when a door may open up on a new adventure.”
In his spare time, Gage enjoys travelling and honing his skills as an amateur photographer and videographer.