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Maryland Stories: Juliana

I entered the University of Maryland as a biology major with no idea what I was going to do with my degree. I decided after my freshman year that I wanted to change my major, and because of Terp Thon, I settled on kinesiology so that I could become a physical therapist. Our Miracle Kids inspired me with the challenges they have overcome. They made me want to make stays for the kids in hospital easier and more fun and to help them gain their lives back. I am specifically looking to pursue pediatric physical therapy as a result of Terp Thon being a part of my life.

My Terp Thon journey started my freshman year when I attended the Dance Marathon with my sorority. I joined Planning Team that spring after seeing my sister Krysten be so involved. She made me fall in love with the organization.

Being a part of this organization these past few years has given me insight into just how big of an impact our efforts have. The art therapy rooms at the hospital that act as a safe haven for kids are possible because of our efforts. The Bunny Mellon Healing Garden where all kids, regardless of their medical restrictions, can go outside and feel like a kid are a result of our efforts. The fact that no child is turned away based on their ability to pay is because of our efforts. I am honored to stand for 12 hours each year to represent and honor the amazing nurses and doctors at the hospital.

Terp Thon gave me an organization that I could fully dedicate my time to. An organization that I am passionate about. An organization with hundreds of amazing people that have stories and passion that I would not know about if I had never attended the Dance Marathon my freshman year. With my last year as an undergraduate member of Terp Thon, I want to get as many people engaged as possible. I want everyone to see the possibilities we can create and the passion and energy that fills the Armory at our Dance Marathon. I want to get people excited for Terp Thon and connected the way my friend did for me my freshman year.

When I graduate next semester, my Terp Thon journey is not over. I will stay connected through Terp Thon Alumni Network. I also hope to do a placement during PT school at Children’s National. 

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