Fio Barreda G’24 named a Rizing Tide Crest Scholar

A first-year physical therapy student, Barreda has been awarded a $14,000 scholarship from Rizing Tide.

Fiorella “Fio” Barreda G’24, a first-year Doctor of Physical Therapy student, was awarded the Rizing Tide Crest Scholarship, which is annually awarded to DPT students entering their first or second year of school from underrepresented racial or ethnic backgrounds.

The Rizing Tide Crest Scholarship is highly competitive, with five students receiving a full scholarship from a pool of 238 applicants and 43 finalists who received interviews. Barreda was recognized as part of the new generation of BIPOC leaders in the physical therapy profession and will be awarded $14,000 which is renewable for two years.

In eight months as a student at Elon, she has been a tremendous leader for DEI efforts, the CityGate Dream Center, and an integral member of her first-year research team. DPT faculty and the Rizing Tide reviewers, called the Beachcombers, see the potential for her to continue making an impact on the PT profession and her community.

“After moving to North Carolina to pursue my graduate school dreams, I knew I wanted to get involved with Elon University’s School of Health Sciences committees and establish footprints in this new town and chapter of my life,” Barreda said. “My university involvement has allowed me to connect with community members far beyond my expectations, and for that I am grateful. I look forward to working with my professors, colleagues and community members to help further the field of physical therapy.”

Rizing Tide’s mission is to empower a new generation of BIPOC leaders in the physical therapy profession. They provide scholarships to help address high tuition costs and offer mentorship and leadership skill training to the scholars. Rizing Tide also has scholarships for physical therapy residency. The Surge Scholarship is open to support graduating PT students or licensed PTs from URM backgrounds entering accredited residency programs. PT residency programs are post-professional programs that advance the learning of a licensed physical therapist in a defined area of practice.