Volunteer Spotlight: William Stokes

William Stokes, PT, DPT of Concord, NC

Leadership occurs at all levels of APTA, not just in formal volunteer roles. All stories of engagement are encouraged. Feel free to answer as many of the following questions that you would like.

Note: The term "APTA" used here is inclusive of all levels of the organization, including national, chapters, sections, academies, councils, special interest groups, etc.


Please share a description of your volunteer experience within APTA. How has this experience affected your perspective on leadership and volunteerism within physical therapy?

My volunteer experience within the APTA I would describe as robust. My experiences have been both extremely fruitful as well as very diverse in capacities. I truly appreciate the notion that there is no opportunity too big or too small to volunteer for within the APTA. I have had the opportunity to serve the APTA in multiple capacities that all have greatly impacted my life and further improved my own leadership development.

How did you first learn about becoming involved with APTA and what made you decide to volunteer?

I first was introduced to volunteering within the APTA by my DPT program faculty whom all were highly engaged within the APTA in multiple capacities. I was able to be exposed to and mentored quickly in the area of professional association involvement which spawned a very passionate young man to a very fulfilling young career in professional involvement.

What have you gained from the experience that you would share with others considering volunteering?

I would share with others that networking is a very important facet of professional involvement. Our association is growing exponentially and the need for volunteers is growing in a concurrent pace. Therefore, networking is a great opportunity to meet others that are in need of such volunteers that you would be able to become and begin your journey in professional volunteering.

Please describe any obstacles that made you hesitate or prevented you from volunteering in the past.

The myth that you need involvement experience to be qualified to volunteer I believe is a large obstacle for most. I believe connecting those who wish to begin volunteering without specific experience are just as important as those with considerable experience. Keeping close communication with leaders throughout our association helps make those first steps in involvement as smooth as possible and will inspire you to connect with those behind you seeking their first volunteer opportunity as well.

Have you participated in any leadership development programs within APTA? If so, please describe the program and how it made an impact on your personal or professional growth.

I have participated in the LAMP program through the HPA-The Catalyst section. The LAMP program is a phenomenal leadership program that involves great leaders with our profession that teaches you crucial leadership skills for within, for within an organization, and for within the greater society. Within each level of the program, you build on your leadership development utilizing mentorship between you and an experienced leader and with an emerging leader to further develop the leadership development continuum.


Note: The term "APTA" used here is inclusive of all levels of the organization, including national, chapters, sections, academies, councils, special interest groups, etc.

Want to learn more about APTA's community of volunteers? Read more volunteer stories.

Do you have a volunteer story to share? Tell us about it!