2024 Emerging Student Leader Award

Apply for the 2024 ESLA Here!
Provide Student Recommendations here
ESLA Informational Video

The Emerging Student Leader Award (ESLA) is a unique program of APTA Oregon designed to foster leadership and association involvement for interested students in our profession. The award provides the opportunity for one student physical therapist and one student physical therapist assistant to become fully engaged in the governance of our profession at the state and national levels. ESLA award winners become members in the APTA Oregon delegation to the APTA House of Delegates (HOD).  The highlight of the award is funding to attend the annual meeting of the HOD (typically held in the summer). 

The HOD is composed of delegates from chapters, sections, the PTA Caucus, Student Assembly, and Board of Directors.  The APTA Oregon delegation consists of 7 apportioned delegates, 1 PTA Caucus Rep, alternates, and the 2 student awardees. Meetings of the delegation are conducted either virtually or in person in the Portland area on a monthly basis. Students are assigned mentors and participate fully in all discussions and actions of the delegation, except for voting at the HOD.  The delegation discusses issues to come before the HOD, including elections of  candidates for national office and motions that impact our profession and association. The delegation frequently develops and presents motions, such as the pivotal policy Evaluation and Plan to Address Student Debt in Physical Therapy, which was passed unanimously by the HOD in 2016.

Emerging Student Leaders are expected to share their experiences with their classes, and write an article for the Oregon Log describing the related highlights and benefits. These experiences provide excellent networking and career development opportunities.  In fact, many current APTA Oregon leaders were past recipients of this award.  Our association, profession, and patients and clients who seek physical therapy benefit from their leadership.


First year PTA students and second year PT students who are APTA Oregon members are eligible to apply for the award.


APTA Oregon will provide reimbursement for expenses to attend the HOD, including travel, lodging, and meals, up to $1750.


The online application is accessed via the link above, and includes two short essays and two letters of recommendation. Deadline for all application materials is November 30, 2023. Letters of recommendation must  be completed by two persons who are not relatives of the candidate, and one recommendation must come from a faculty member of the program in which the student is enrolled. The APTA Oregon delegation will select and notify the awardees.

Congratulations to the APTA Oregon
Emerging Student Leader Award Recipients!

2023 Recipients: SPT - Kirsten Londeree, SPT - Brian Rios

2022 Recipients: SPT - Morgan Clark, SPTA - Jose Linares Ochoa

2021 Recipients: SPT - Mason Flores, SPTA - Rebekkah Joliff

2020 Recipients: SPT  - Gavin McBride, SPTA - Michelle Spindler