West Coast University students went back to middle school this summer to share their passion and spark curiosity about occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) among young students.
Led by WCU-Center for Graduate Studies instructors Cameron Brown and Bianca Callier, the 22 OT and PT students presented to five different classrooms at Virgil Middle School in Los Angeles, offering insights into their personal journeys.
They connected with the young audience by sharing personal experiences as middle schoolers and how they evolved into the healthcare professions they are in today.
“Sharing their own stories helped them connect a bit more,” WCU instructor Brown said. “The middle school students could see themselves reflected in our students.”
The WCU-CGS students volunteered to be a part of the outreach and expressed that they wanted to show the younger generation that there was representation in the professions.
“Many of them were motivated to reach out to kids, especially minorities,” Brown said. “A lot of our students said they wish they had seen someone that looked like them in the profession when they were younger.”
During the presentations to students, the OT and PT students explained the nature of their disciplines, the educational requirements and the potential career paths available upon graduation.
They also walked the middle schoolers through case studies and different assessments in movement and strength, highlighting the essential role of OT and PT in rehabilitation.
The discussions struck a chord as students drew connections to family members or friends who had experienced injuries or surgeries, making them realize the crucial role played by these professions in the healing process.
“It gives students options on additional things they can do in healthcare,” Brown said. “I think it’s a great opportunity to set them up for success and make the journey a little easier.”
WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.