Gabriella El-Richani 

Photo of Gabriella
Class of 2023
Major: Exercise Science, Pre-Physical Therapy

Gabriella El-Richani is blessed to be one of those people who found her calling early in life. From a young age, Gabriella knew she wanted to help others and was drawn to the field of physical therapy.   

“The first time I shadowed a physical therapist, I absolutely loved it and could envision myself in that role someday,” she said. “Knowing that one day I will be helping those recovering from pain makes me happy because I am there for them both physically and mentally during their injury.”  

In addition to completing her undergraduate program in exercise science, pre-physical therapy, Gabriella is an intern at NovaCare Rehabilitation and is in the process of applying to and interviewing for graduate physical therapy programs.  

“The exercise science program has prepared me for grad school through rigorous classes and hands-on experience,’ she said. “And my internship placement at NovaCare really has helped me see everything the field entails. There I shadow patients, clean supplies, fold laundry and help teach workout classes.”   

When she isn’t in class or interning, Gabriella works at New Heights ABA, an applied behavioral analysis therapy clinic that supports children ages 2-11 who are on the autism spectrum. Gabriella works directly with the students to help improve their fundamental skills for school, play and social situations.   

As a senior Leader in Social Justice, Gabriella is also completing her capstone project with Pegasus Farm, a nonprofit therapeutic equestrian center that serves more than 500 individuals each year.  

“Pegasus Farm works with participants ages 3-75 who have a developmental, physical or behavioral challenge. Through equine therapy it helps these individuals psychologically, physically and holistically,” she said. “I personally help the participants onto the horses and I help with all the planning of the farm’s social events.”  

Somehow Gabriella still finds time to engage in campus activities as a Cavs Cor leader and vice president of the Pre-PT Club, in addition to working in the Career Center and being a member of the JV basketball team. She credits her Lebanese culture with much of her success today.  

“My Lebanese culture has truly shaped me into who I am today. I was raised to be a hard worker, respectful, and making my family proud is important to me. In our culture, we put God at the center of our lives and, as a result, he has provided for us,” Gabriella said. “I was baptized in Lebanon and visiting my family there has really helped me understand my culture better. I am able to share my culture with my friends by cooking Lebanese food for them and teaching them about the language. Also, I take many of them to our family parties where we celebrate our culture through dance, food, and speaking about family.”  


View all Student Spotlights here!