“My parents told me, ‘Just go to LaGuardia,’” Omid Adabi remembers, and with good reason. What Omid found at LaGuardia Community College in one semester, he hadn’t found during a whole year at Queens College. “I wasn’t reaching my full potential,” says the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) student, “There were so many more opportunities at LaGuardia, like doing research.”
Omid was awarded at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students for his research on the effects the increase of a protein has on certain cells in women. He also won second place in LaGuardia’s Annual College-wide Speech contest for his presentation on how social media promoted obstetric fistula, a severe medical condition that most often affects women who’ve had inadequate medical attention when giving birth. But Omid wasn’t always as outgoing and charismatic as he is now. “He was always threatening me – I’ll never forget his name or face,” says Omid about the bully he faced daily during middle school. That’s when he began studying martial arts as a productive way to boost his confidence and get away. In 2009 he became a first-degree black belt in the Hawaiian martial art of Kajukenbo; and now he uses his skills to train two young boys in the art as well. For his great achievements, he received a LaGuardia Foundation scholarship in Spring 2011, which helped him further his research by helping him cover school and day-to-day expenses. “It’s awesome,” is Omid’s split-second response when asked about his experience with his major. “The professors are educators and practitioners. Many are involved in the New York Physical Therapy Association (NYPTA), so all the information we’re getting is new and evidence based,” he continues enthusiastically, “We’re learning what we’re going to be exposed to as soon as we go out on the field.”Omid will graduate from LaGuardia in Fall 2012. He is currently the vice president of the PTA Club where he and his peers mentor students who are in their first phase clinical courses. In addition, he’s the intern of the PTA Program Director at LAGCC. As such, he has participated in the NYPTA board of directors meeting where they decide on by-laws and policies for the profession. And it doesn’t stop there. The first generation Iranian-American routinely volunteers at The Hospital for Special Surgery alongside his sister who recently graduated from LAGCC and is now pursuing a career as a physician’s assistant at York College; his eldest sister is a practicing physical therapist who attended LAGCC before moving on to St. John’s University. After LaGuardia, Omid looks forward to enrolling into the MARC program at City College, a training program in academic research; and later becoming an orthopedic doctor and opening a medical office with his family.