For Sophomore Carly Lewandowski, her dream of becoming an athletic trainer has always begun with college; Kean University just happened to have the program she liked the most. From Union Beach, New Jersey, Carly was heavily engaged in athletics, running cross-country, playing softball, basketball, and even became the manager of her high school’s ice hockey team. When her twin sister Katie’s athletic injuries began to climb, so would Carly’s fascination with rehabilitation. She soon became Katie’s personal assistant, accompanying her at every appointment simply to observe the therapists in action. Luckily, that observation was all Carly needed to be certain that becoming an athletic trainer was her perfect career.

No matter the sport or activity, Carly’s parents made sure that both she and her twin sister were financially prepared for their college endeavors after high school. In late October of 2012 however, tropical storm Sandy would delay the course for Carly’s educational goals. In direct hit of Hurricane Sandy, her family lost their home and all their belongings. With such a tragedy, her family was forced to use her college savings to rebuild their home and replace what was lost. Yet, this life-changing event did not stop Carly from enrolling in Brookdale Community College. A first-generation college student, Carly graduated two years later with her associate degree in liberal arts.

Continuing to stay ahead of the curve, that summer following graduation she enrolled in a four-week summer term class at Kean University for athletic training; a class that after completion, would allow Carly to become a Kean sophomore. A scholarship recipient and enrolled in Kean’s competitive athletic training program, Carly is expected to graduate in May 2021 and just one step closer to receiving her degree.

“It’s the idea of getting someone back to their original state that fascinates me. Receiving a scholarship was extremely helpful. It allows me to focus on school and work fewer shifts at both of my jobs. The courses here are hard and time-consuming, but it’s worth it.”   –Carly Lewandowski