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PT students volunteer in South America

ujm89ddFor the past two years, TWU Houston Physical Therapy students have traveled to South American countries to volunteer their time and work as physical therapists for a week.

In 2015, a group of students embarked on the first non-profit service trip to Costa Rica. Now a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Sarah Snyder explained: “[The trip was] near and dear to my heart. I was able to return to the country (Costa Rica) I was born in and it was a wonderful way to give back…”

Physical Therapy students Jordan Birdsong, second-year; Aly Beck, second-year; Gabrielle Ortiz, second-year; and Jessica West, third-year gave insight on what it means to go on trips like these: “The people you get to meet and the interactions you have with the patients you are treating are often our fondest memories of service trips. Getting immersed in a culture and living day to day life with them is very moving.”

Snyder added: “It allows for a refreshed spark, reminding us of why we are studying as hard as we are. It also was a little bit difficult because I wanted to go out and practice right away.”

The physical therapy students are currently planning and fundraising for their 2017 trip to Ecuador. To help fundraise for their trip, they will be selling t-shirts and having a garage sale, as well as some prospective bake sales. On a larger scale, they are continuing a partnership with Physical Therapy Global Access Project, a non-profit charity formed last year by students in the TWU Doctorate of Physical Therapy Class of 2017.

Birdsong added: “While we may only physically be in Ecuador to provide therapy services for a week, we have the opportunity to provide education and leave behind resources for the children and their teachers and caregivers to hopefully help improve their everyday quality of life.”

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