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James Madison University

Occupational therapy students participate in Valley Scholars event

JMU occupational therapy and pre-occupational therapy students facilitated an event to introduce occupational therapy to students involved in the Valley Scholars program. Valley Scholars is a program that allows local middle and high school students, who will be first generation college students, to explore and engage in different educational opportunities. The program encourages students to maintain good grades and in return, provides them with the opportunity to transition to JMU on a full scholarship. The Valley Scholars arrived at Occupational Therapy Clinical Education Services (OTCES) and were given a first hand look at occupational therapy. Participants engaged in an obstacle course activity that would be used in a pediatric setting and partook in a simulated stroke experience. To replicate a stroke, participants wore vision impairment goggles and used their non-dominant hand to roll out cookie dough and decorate cookies. Valley Scholars also had the opportunity to explore the clinic’s therapy gym and play on various types of swings and therapeutic equipment. Despite never hearing about occupational therapy, many students became intrigued and asked questions about the role of occupational therapists and the types of clients they work with. Occupatation therapy student Laura Wood said, "I believe the Valley Scholars program is a great way to introduce different professions to scholar students and motivate them to succeed. I loved hearing the reactions from the students regarding the activities and enjoyed explaining to them the power occupational therapy can have on improving an individual’s quality of life." 

 

 

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