This story is reprinted from The Fresno State Alumni Association as written by Elisa Navarro. Originally published in the January 2017 issue of the Fresno State Alumni Association Newsletter.
For 2001 physical therapy alumna, Alethea Mehas Crespo, there is no greater satisfaction than seeing families bonding with their laughing, smiling children as she guides them through aquatic therapy.
“The kids I work with vary because some have rare chromosomal deletion or seizure disorder or autism, but I mostly work with babies,” said Crespo.
Crespo is the director of therapeutic programs at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center in Pasadena. She works with a talented staff of 35 to design innovative warm water therapy programs for kids with special needs.
“The kids just love being in the water. It is a crazy sense of freedom for them and they progress so quickly.”
Over the last eight years Crespo and her staff have helped more than 4 million people with disabilities and have been honored for their work, most recently by the Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities. At the 25th Annual Access Awards Luncheon, held in October during Disability Awareness Month, Crespo received a commemoration for her work in the fifth district.
“I cannot do what I do without the people I’m surrounded with and I think I have all the right pieces in place, and without them I wouldn’t be able to offer all of the programs that we have for the capacity that we do,” said Crespo.
Helping every child reach their full potential and thrive is her motto. Crespo says some of her future goals are to create innovative programs for children with both physical and combative disorders.
“I’m working with an organization to bring a lot of Paralympic athletes and I’m working with the Wounded Soldier Foundation. I have a lot of goals for the future. I never give up for these kids.”
Crespo is the daughter of the late Pete Mehas, known in Fresno County as an educational advocate and leader, where he led a respected career as the Fresno County schools superintendent and as a trustee on the California State University system Board of Trustees. He passed away in 2013, no doubt left a lasting impact of on those he loved, including Crespo.
Learn more about Crespo and her work at the Rose Bowl Aquatic Center at their website.
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