DPT Alumni Reflect on Benefits of Community Based Learning

CBL trip to Guatemala

Maureen Taylor, Sammy Marri, and a local PT working on standing endurance with a child at the Gualan Nutriction Clinic.

“As the community based learning coordinator for the Physical Therapy Club for the 2016-2017 school year, I have learned immensely about the different opportunities that exist for students to volunteer within the surrounding community. Throughout the school year, the Physical Therapy Club provides exercise classes to three of the local senior living facilities and two of the local day cares. Seniorcise is an exercise class that occurs twice a week for 60 minutes while Kidercise is once a week for 60 minutes. These exercise classes are a great way for students to interact with the community & be creative in the exercise classes. In addition, the club assists in coordinating a Wheelchair Basketball Tournament for I AM organization & a Volleyball Marathon for Cystic Fibrosis as well as volunteering at the Leahy Clinic. The Leahy Clinic is run by students and provides physical therapy services to the uninsured in the surrounding area. While volunteering at the clinic, students are able to gain knowledge within the field.  There are two service trips available to PT club members: Navajo Indian Reservation & Guatemala. On the Navajo Indian Reservation, students partake in service including cleaning, organizing, painting, & assisting in the care of children at a local school as well as immerse in the Navajo culture.  In Guatemala, through Hearts in Motion, students provide physical therapy care to various communities. There are many other options for community based learning for students. Many students volunteer at the local soup kitchen, weight training for athletic teams, dog shelters, & Challenger Soccer. Challenger Soccer is a program at Riverfront Sports Complex for children with special needs who want to participate in sports and be a team member. I am very happy to been given this opportunity, and one of my favorite parts is learning how much our help is truly appreciated by the community.”

“This past January I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to attend a service trip in Guatemala with some of my classmates. While there, we provided physical therapy services throughout different towns and clinics to those who were in need. We went to help them but what we came back with was far greater. We learned about their wonderful culture, caring people & their vast sense of gratitude & kindness.  I, along with my classmates, will always cherish the memories that I have of the nine days that we spent in Guatemala giving ourselves to others & I know that our lives have been forever changed.”

Maureen Taylor, DPT Class of 2018

CBL tripi to St. Michaels, Arizona

(Left to Right): Bow Arrow, DPT class of 2017, Cassie Lucke, Lisa Jackowitz, and Danielle Frank, DPT class of 2019, at the Window Rock Navajo Tribal Park and Veteran’s Memorial in Window Rock, AZ, the capital of the Navajo Nation.

“During my time on the Navajo reservation my outlook on life and on my future career as a Physical Therapist changed forever.  The humility and gratitude shown among the Navajos, and their ability to share immensely with outsiders has impacted me greatly.  I look forward to learning more about the Navajo culture in hopes that one day, when licensed, I can return and provide the reservation with medical care through the integration of modern medicine and traditional Navajo teachings.”

-Danielle Frank, EXSC ’16, DPT Class of 2019

Learn more about the DPT program at The University of Scranton.

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