Doctor of Physical Therapy student Phillip Thomas '15 is getting help with his education from an unconventional source: soft-drink maker Dr Pepper. Thomas entered Dr Pepper's Discover Bowl Championship Series and won a $2,500 scholarship.
Competitors were required to make a 60-second video telling the company why they needed help with college expenses. "Everything had to be your own work, and the more Dr Pepper that was in the video, the better," he said. Thomas was motivated by his need for funds to cover living expenses and textbooks "not in the forms of loans."
"I was trying to make a creative video that stood out. Being hit in the face a few times with a football and Frisbee was part of the price," he said. His younger brother, Josh, and his sister, Juliana, helped with the production.
Thomas was one of about 40 students who won based on entries showing their ability "to make an impact on and off the field." His video, while promoting the soft drink, also makes a serious case for funding his future as a physical therapist.
"I chose to go into the field of physical therapy because it's such a dynamic and rewarding profession," he said. "Physical therapists have the opportunity to treat people of all ages in numerous health-care settings. In our aging population, demands for rehabilitation specialists are high. What thrills me the most about this field is the chance to combine my passions for human anatomy, rehabilitation, exercise and interacting with people."
Thomas's video and more information about the competition are posted on the Dr Pepper website. He joked, "I'm under the 2012 winners on the fourth row in a salmon (it's not pink) shirt."