USD Student Practicing Her Wave, Will Appear On Float At Rose Parade

A University of South Dakota student was chosen to ride on one of 40 floats in

the Tournament of Roses Parade. She will be representing the Occupational Therapy profession in celebration of its 100th Anniversary.

For months, even years, organizations across the nation raise money and create floats for the Annual Rose Parade in Pasadena, California.

“I think it’s going to be shell shock no matter what,” said USD Student Stephanie Conway.

As for Stephanie, she’s only seen the parade on T.V. But this year, she’ll not only be one of 700,000 people in attendance, she’ll be front and center for 47 million Americans to see.

Conway said, “I’ve never even ridden on a float before so this is going to be a big experience. I’m really excited.”

ot-rose-float-2She was invited to ride on the Occupational Therapy Centennial Float created by the Occupational Therapy Association of California after she and another student raised money for it through a 5k run.

“All the schools that raised over $1,000 were put into a raffle and USD was selected and then we got to have a student rider so here I am,” said Conway smiling.

The Sioux City native, will be one of 12 people on the float; all have a connection to the profession.

Conway said, “I wanted to do something that really helped others and so when I learned about Occupational Therapy, it really seemed like a great fit.”

Now she’ll get to celebrate the profession’s 100th birthday, with other students, practitioners and those who have benefited from it.

“I think it’s great for the profession. It really serves as a time for the profession to just look back to see how far we’ve come,” said Conway.

stephanie-rose-parade-2She’ll have plenty of time to reflect. Stephanie will help with the float for seven hours on Sunday. The ride on Monday spans 5-and-a-half miles and takes two hours.

“I’m so honored and humbled by this opportunity because not many people get to ever do this,” said Conway. “I’ve been practicing my waive.”

She says she is going to try to represent her school while doing it. Stephanie says she’ll likely put a little red in her attire.

Another USD student and professor will be heading to California with Stephanie, who will be leaving Friday. The 128th Annual Rose

Parade starts at 10 a.m. CST. You can watch the parade right here on KDLT.

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