Texas Wesleyan’s own Breanne Zuniga is one of a kind. Earlier this summer, Zuniga was the lone recipient of the 2018 Al Ortolani Athletic Training Scholarship Award, rewarded to students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in athletic training or related field.
Zuniga is a Level 4 Athletic Training Student from Arlington. She’s worked with Wesleyan’s women’s soccer and softball programs and also helps at Euless Trinity High School, Birdville High School and Fort Worth Christian School.
“It really is an honor to be recognized nationally,” Zuniga said. “I love to represent my school and I can't thank enough people for getting me this far in my career. I am so thankful for all the people who have pushed me to be the best that I can and told me to never give up on my dreams.”
This isn’t the first honor Zuniga has achieved – far from it. She has already been rewarded the Hester, Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Texas Wesleyan’s Dean Scholarships.
She’s been on the Dean’s List, is a member of the Texas Wesleyan’s Mortar Board, is President of Texas Wesleyan’s Sports Medicine Society and has had a poster presentation accepted at the 2018 Southwest Athletic Trainer’s Association Clinical Symposium.
“I honestly love learning about how the human body works and I love working with sports,” Zuniga said. “This field is the perfect fit for it. I really love getting to work with an athlete one-on-one and see them return to the sport they love after a major injury. There is no better feeling seeing the progression of an athlete. It brings me so much joy to know that I can make a difference in an athlete's life.”
Zuniga didn’t get involved in athletic training until her freshman year in high school, but it only took a few years to sink in that it’s what she wanted to do for the rest of her life, proving sometimes the roads we walk don’t always lead to a straight path right away.
“I never thought I was going to be a part of the medical field when I first thought about college. I wanted to stay near my hometown when going to college and I was blessed to receive full tuition at Texas Wesleyan. It was just meant to be. I'm so thankful that I am a part of this program. I have worked with some amazing people and I have some amazing professors and colleagues who have helped me become the person I am today.”
The Al Ortolani Athletic Training Scholarship Award is named for the late Al Ortolani, head athletic trainer at Pittsburg State University from 1955-1995 and is specific to students entering their junior year of college. Zuniga is the second Wesleyan recipient of the scholarship. Grace Savage was awarded the scholarship in 2011.