Gene and Gerry Diullo have created one more way to commemorate the life and legacy of their late son, Anton “Tony” Diullo. The couple recently established an endowed scholarship in his name through the OTC Foundation. The funds will support students in pursuit of a physical therapist assistant (PTA) degree at OTC.
“My son was an interesting young man – he had a big heart,” Gene explained. “And my wife, Gerry, and I thought it would be good to start something in his name that helped others.”
A physical therapist himself, Gene worked 26 years as a commissioned officer for the United States Public Health Service, including 11 years at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield. Upon retirement, he got involved in OTC’s PTA program where he served in multiple roles, including clinical coordinator, advisory panel member, instructor and volunteer.
“The more involved in the program I became, the better I got to know the students,” Gene said. “I got to see firsthand how hard they worked to improve their lives.”
The retired physical therapist shared that many of the students he worked with weren’t coming to OTC straight out of high school. Some were single parents, and others had overcome significant obstacles to earn their degree. On top of that, he said that the requirements to become a physical therapist assistant had grown more stringent over the years.
“Earning a PTA degree today is more difficult and competitive than ever before – and these students at OTC are quality students,” he said. “I’m glad my wife and I have found a way to support them in their academic journey.”
Scholarship applications for OTC’s summer and fall semesters will open March 1. Learn more about OTC’s scholarship programs and offerings here.