Marc Salamat wins prestigious scholarship for the second time

Release Date
Marc Salamat sitting in a black suit with a lilac dress shirt and tie, smiling and adjusting watch.

For the second straight year, HFC student Marc Salamat has been selected for the Gillary Scholarship from the Detroit Athletic Club.

Salamat is a crew leader in the men’s locker room at the DAC. His mother, Gina, also works at the DAC as did his late father, Manuel.

“The people at the DAC are so thoughtful and I couldn’t ask for a better employer. Winning it twice is a great feeling!” said Salamat, of Warren.

Here are the criteria for the Gillary Scholarship:

  • Any full-time employee who has been employed for a minimum of 12 months is eligible, along with their children, grandchildren, and dependents.
  • Any part-time employee who has been employed for a minimum of 12 months and has worked 500 hours or more is eligible, along with their children, grandchildren, and dependents.
  • Applicants must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better in high school or the two most recent semesters in college.
  • Applicants must write a one-page essay about why they need the scholarship and how it will impact their lives.

“The first scholarship I won was for $1,120. The second one was for $2,000,” said Salamat. “This will definitely help me pay for my tuition at HFC.”

“The best part about attending HFC is my professors”

Born in the Philippines, Salamat, an only child, came to the United States with his family when he was 1. He speaks fluent English and Tagalog, an Austronesian language that forms the basis of the standardized national language of the Philippines.

A graduate of Fitzgerald High School in Warren, Salamat is enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant program at HFC. He is looking forward to graduating in the spring.

“My girlfriend, Eizelle Villanueva, inspired me to go into physical therapy,” said Salamat. “She’s in the same program.”

HFC physical therapy instructors Steve Pedley, Lisa Compagnoni, Vineet Kaul, and biology instructor Dr. Karen Hrapkiewicz have been major influences on Salamat. Salamat considers Pedley his mentor.

“I looked forward to seeing Marc each class period,” said Pedley. “He attended each class with a smile and was always a ray of sunshine. He is an extremely hard worker and has managed to juggle work, school, family, and a relationship. He is dedicated to the profession. I enjoyed spending time with him between class sessions and open labs. We have had talks on various subjects, especially about Philippine cuisine.”

“The best part about attending HFC is my professors,” said Salamat. “They do an amazing job teaching and helping students understand difficult concepts. They encourage students not to give up and to study hard. I wouldn’t be here if it weren't for them.”

His mother is his biggest inspiration

Salamat is currently an intern at Henry Ford Medical Center – Chesterfield in addition to his job duties at the DAC and being a student. He is enjoying his internship.

“I’m not sure yet what kind of setting I want to work in, but now in the middle of my first full-time rotation, I like the outpatient setting. I want to be able to support my mom in the future after all she’s done for me,” he said.

His mother has been Salamat’s biggest inspiration. Salamat lost his father to cancer at a very young age.

“In the years that followed, my mother bravely carried the weight of single parenthood, devoting herself entirely to raising me. Her sacrifices were profound, as she navigated the challenges of parenting without the presence of a father figure. Yet, we were not alone. Our extended family, church community, and caring pastors provided a network of support that helped to fill the void left by my father's absence,” he explained.

The physical therapy field allows Salamat a way to give back

For Salamat, growing up without a father meant learning life's lessons through trial and error. He has faced many challenges head-on with determination and resilience.

“Every day, I turn to God for strength, wisdom, and peace, and as a constant presence in my life since my father’s passing,” explained Salamat. “Without God’s grace and the unwavering support of my mother, the journey would have been far more arduous.”

He continued: “Despite the hardships, I'm grateful for the person I've become. I've been shaped by adversity strengthened by the love and support that surrounded me. I can't help but wonder how different my life might have been if my father were still alive. This reflection fuels my desire to pursue a career in physical therapy, a profession that allows me to offer support and care to those in need, just as so many others have done for me.”

Related content: HFC Physical Therapist Assistant program informational video