From leadership, networking connections, volunteer work, fundraising and mentorship, the Student Occupational Therapy Association in Houston provides occupational therapy students with opportunities for educational, professional and personal growth.
“SOTA is a great way for students to ask questions, acquire knowledge, and bond with other students in the program,” Kelsey Orsak, SOTA president said. She noted that SOTA “provides opportunities for students to begin networking with other occupational therapists, as well as engage in service opportunities that are directly relatable to our coursework.” This is a great program for occupational students to join because it will help them make connections and form relationships with future employers while in school.
This organization has made a name for itself in the Houston Texas Medical Center through continuous involvement in community service and by working as volunteers in organizations. Orsak notes that combined with their community involvement, SOTA is incredibly passionate about helping the Houston community.
For occupational therapy students looking to join, active and perpetual participation in meetings, service events and fundraising is required. Orsak said that service opportunities include, “volunteering for PM Pals, leading a fitness group at the Houston Aphasia Recovery Center, volunteering at The Gathering Place, a psychosocial clubhouse, RSVP (Rehabilitation Services Volunteer Project) clinic.” RSVP provides physical rehab equipment and services to uninsured individuals with disabilities. For current members looking to further their involvement by becoming an officer, they are eligible to run after one year of membership. Orsak said that the officer positions include, “President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Parliamentarian, Historian, Service Chairs (2), Social Chair, Education Chair, Ways and Means Chairs (2), TOTA Representative, ASD Representative, and OT Month Chair.”
In addition to volunteer service, professional development and leadership opportunities, SOTA provides new occupational therapy students with a way to connect with students further along in their education. This chance for student mentorship provides entry occupational therapy students with a resource for help and advice. Orsak said “Mentors are available to answer questions about class assignments, fieldwork experiences, networking opportunities, student life on campus, etc.”