Kelsea Scott Briceno
Kelsea Scott Briceno of Toledo has been selected as the Owens Community College class representative and will address the graduates during the 52nd annual Spring Commencement ceremony. She is graduating with an Associate of Applied Science degree in the Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) program and Summa Cum Laude honors.
A 2009 Bowsher High School graduate, Scott Briceno demonstrated determination, toughness and resilience as a teen overcoming the near loss of a leg in a freak accident and receiving an athletic scholarship to play volleyball at Indiana Institute of Technology, a NAIA school in Fort Wayne where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Recreational Therapy.
At age 12, the self-described Michael Jordan fan was playing basketball from a trampoline when a backflip trick shot ended with her leg hitting the rim, causing the trauma.
Doctors at the University of Toledo Medical Center originally considered amputating her leg, but Scott Briceno said her mother, Kelly Nova, begged doctors to consider other options. Doctors saved her leg by applying an external fixator system of pins, rods and clamps, which remained in place for six months. She was the first pediatric patient locally to receive the external pin system, which had a small percentage of succeeding. If it did work, the prognosis was that she would not walk again correctly, let alone play volleyball.
She began walking one year later. Another year after that, she was playing volleyball.
As part of the recovery process, she went through "hard core" physical therapy for 18 months. She said her work with physical therapists and PTAs led her to Owens for her chosen career.
"I realized I was lucky I got to play volleyball," she said. "I started thinking, 'Why did I get the opportunity?' It was my physical therapy and my mom that really saved my career. So that’s what I wanted to do.
"I feel like I have a connection with my patients. I feel like I know what it feels like to have a diagnosis that could change your life. I can relate to my patients," she said.
Scott Briceno impressed the faculty in the Department of Therapeutic Services.
"Kelsea is an outstanding student and leader," said Tiffany Duran, Adjunct Faculty. "She exemplifies the pillars of Owens and academics."
"Kelsea approaches all difficulties with a positive attitude and persists through negativity," added Dr. Sara Burke, Instructor. "Her dedication to her education, profession and family are exemplary. She is a strong professional and represents the finest of the graduating PTA cohort."
Scott Briceno, 26, met her husband, Reinaldo, while in college and he was playing baseball for Indiana Tech. The native of Venezuela briefly played minor league baseball. They have a son, Roman, 2.
Besides her mother, Scott Briceno said her father, Michael Nova, was one of the most significant influences in her life. He died unexpectedly the day after she learned she was nominated to be the Class Representative.
- View past Class Speakers.