Q&A with KCC PTA student Wayde Barry

Wayde Barry

The deadline to apply for KCC’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program is Friday, April 5! See details, application materials and more at kellogg.edu/pta-admissions.

Kellogg Community College Physical Therapist Assistant student Wayde Barry, 20, of Middleville, graduated from Thornapple Kellogg High School in 2021. We first caught up with him last year to ask about his background and experiences in the KCC PTA Program, and below are some updates as he prepares to graduate from the program this spring.

Why did you choose to study PTA?

I job shadowed at a physical therapy facility in high school after I received therapy for a sports-related injury. I have always been interested in helping people, and this sounded like the perfect avenue for that.

Why did you choose to study PTA specifically at KCC?

There is a KCC campus in Hastings that my sister had previously went to that I initially attended to because it was close to home, and I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to study specifically. I then heard about the PTA Program and it piqued my interest. I decided to enroll in the program and stay at KCC.

What’s been your favorite part of your time at KCC, and why?

My favorite part about the program is all of the hands-on work that we get to do. I’m a physical learner, meaning I prefer to work with my hands, and this program has us up and moving almost every day. A close second regarding my favorite thing about this program is my classmates. We all band together to get the best out of one another and it’s truly inspiring to be a part of.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned at KCC?

The most interesting thing that we’ve learned so far in the PTA Program would probably have to be muscles. Muscles are difficult to learn because of how many there are and how specific they can be, but being a gymgoer makes the application of the information fun and interesting.

What is your goal for after you graduate from KCC? What do you hope to do for a career?

I hope to work at a facility where I will have the opportunity to change young people’s lives for the better working as a PTA. I hope to work in an outpatient facility that sees sports-related injuries, hoping that I can help young adults like me when I was younger.

What advice do you have for current or future KCC students?

Keep your head in the game and have self-confidence. I like to tell my classmates before exams and checkoffs that they shouldn’t be nervous because they all know the information and they’ve worked hard to do so. Going into anything difficult with confidence makes a big difference in the result.

Anything else you’d like to say?

If there is anyone even slightly interested in this career path, I suggest you do some research on the profession and this program. I think you’ll be happily surprised at all the cool things we get to do daily.

Learn more about KCC’s Physical Therapist Assistant Program at kellogg.edu/pta.

Photo portrait by Laura Garrison.