I am a junior studying therapeutic recreation at Temple University. I always had a passion for helping others as a child. One of the most influential people in my life growing up was my neighbor, Christine. She was a certified health aid and worked with individuals with developmental disabilities as well as in hospice healthcare settings. I immediately became interested in the desire to help people when she let me participate in her aide duties. I never knew exactly how I wanted to pursue a profession, but I always knew it would be in the healthcare field. I started college as a kinesiology major heading down the physical therapy track then I found out about the therapeutic recreation program and it immediately caught my attention. Now I love everything I learn because therapeutic recreation offers so many possibilities that can help people achieve daily goals.
Professionally, I hope to work with children and adults with developmental disabilities. I believe that social interaction and engaging in physical and mental activities have a huge role in creating a better quality of life for individuals with developmental disabilities. As someone who wants to pursue a profession as a CTRS it is my duty to create various strategies that help people with disabilities have a sense of independence. I would love to work in an outpatient community center that utilizes recreation therapy. Utilizing physical activities such as soccer and volleyball lets individuals receive fitness and social interaction with peers. Utilizing mental activities such as arts and crafts lets individuals express themselves and also have social interaction with peers. Being in an environment like the one just explained would make individuals self-dependent and that is the greatest achievement a profession can have.
My volunteer experiences with various populations with disabilities and my education about therapeutic recreation take part in developing my skills as a recreational therapist. For instance, in order for something to be considered recreational therapy there needs to be a clear connection from the specific activity to the individual’s self-made goals. My skills include being quick-minded, having an outgoing personality, my compassion and my attentive listening skills. All of my skills can be seen through my volunteer experiences. There is no greater happiness than putting a smile on someone’s face. Pursuing a profession in therapeutic recreation will give me that happiness almost every time I go to work. I plan to pursue my degree in therapeutic recreation and do the necessary requirements to become a CTRS.