As a profession, physical therapy embraces humanitarianism and altruism. We encourage students to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves with these experiences so that they will grow as a person. Look for activities where they can give for the “greater good.”
Below are some highlights from the Service Learning activities by the Class of 2016.
"Exceptional evenings out is a program that happens once a month, that allows children with disabilities to have fun and interact with other individuals...This activity challenged me socially and emotionally because it allowed me to interact with children of a variety of different conditions including Down's syndrome and cerebral palsy...It's so refreshing to see these children play and have fun with challenges that they are facing in their life...I really enjoyed volunteering with the YMCA exceptional evenings out program and will gladly volunteer there again in the future."
- Jennifer Briant, Class of 2016
"For my service learning project this year, I chose to help at an organized cleanup at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, WA. The objective of the clean up was to pick up pick up all the litter and garbage that was discarded around the 5-mile loop, as well as the walking trail alongside the waterfront...This activity was most challenging physically, largely because of the changing terrain that included traversing steep hillsides, uneven ground and carrying the large accumulations of trash that had to be carried back to the waterfront base. Many park users stopped to talk to us and to thank us for our service which was a nice gesture. I am happy to have been able to provide a service to the local community and look forward to doing so in the future."
- Nick Higa, Class of 2016
"I volunteered at a women and children's shelter in Tacoma through the Tacoma Rescue Mission... This activity challenged me to go outside of my comfort zone and to give up my time to serve others. I realized how focused I have been on my own life with school, friends, and family. I spent a portion of my weekend not worrying about schedules and my own to-do list. Instead, I was able to just focus on something more important, providing basic comforts to people in need...I want to volunteer more often with the sole intent of helping others and give my time freely not just because I am required or it will advance my own opportunities. In light of this, I plan on making this activity a regular thing..."
-Ali Gunselman, Class of 2016
"...I chose to participate in the Nets for Vets program at the Boys and Girls club in Tacoma. The organization is set up to welcome in not only veterans but also any and all individuals who have the desire to play wheelchair basketball. Most of the athletes have some form of disability, including amputation, spinal cord injuries or other impairments... This was my second time volunteering for this program and it has been one of the greatest volunteer opportunities that I've experienced. Getting to talk with the athletes and hear their stories gave me a great appreciation of who they are, what they've been through and steps they took to become highly functional and skilled individuals... I hope to have future opportunities such as this one."
-Bo Bennett, Class of 2016