My name is Huidan Mei. I am a Sophomore in Temple University. I came into Temple not knowing what career path I want to pursue. I spent my Freshman year in college exploring in the School of Public Health because I know I was interested in serving the public, in the health domain. Last spring semester, I took a class called Adapted Sports and through that class, I had the opportunity to volunteer at several sites where I spent fifteen hours working with people with disability. In the agency Carousel House, I did art activities with older adults who had different impairments. It was very fun and relaxing to do the arts with them and watch them finish the art pieces by themselves. I assisted a lady named Cynthia who was in her 50s in a bowling program. She had a physical impairment, but that did not stop her from her favorite hobby: bowling. We joked, listened to each other’s stories, and bowled. Through these experiences, I know that I want to major in therapeutic recreation because I want to help individuals to reach their well-being.
Professionally, I want to work with adolescent with physical impairments and mental disorder. I believe that with the help of Recreational Therapy, they will reach physical, social, and mental well-being, like Cynthia and the older adults I worked with last semester. Recreational Therapy can enhance their confidence and self-esteem, help them develop self-efficacy and skills, and instill hope in them. Recreational Therapy will also help them realize that they are not limited by their disabilities and disorders; they can achieve their goals when they are determined to. I hope to work at community-based programs/agencies and/or outpatient treatment settings that utilize sports and art therapy.
As mentioned earlier, I have worked with people with sports and art, so I have experienced in these recreational activities. With their past experiences, I can better interact with the adolescents and help them achieve their goals. I am currently doing field-based learning at a school for children with cerebral palsy. Therefore, I will have more knowledge and experiences on how to assist people with cerebral palsy. I will continue my education in therapeutic recreation and continue to volunteer in the summer so I can get more hands-on experiences. This way I can get more prepared and trained to be a recreational therapist.