When you think of TWU’s Occupational Therapy program, the first thing you think of probably isn’t volunteer work. Surprisingly, giving back to the community is a huge part of the Student Occupational Therapy Association at TWU Houston.
SOTA students are involved with numerous fundraising events throughout the year. They do community service not only to increase awareness about occupational therapy, but also just to give back to their community.
SOTA goes to several locations out in the community. Students do Run for the Rose, an annual run in Houston that raises awareness and funds benefiting the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and McGovern Medical School, according to the run’s official website.
Students also participate in different walks throughout the year, including Alzheimer’s walks, Autism walks and Parkinson’s walks. Houston SOTA’s advisor, Assistant Clinical Professor Alicia Lohmann commented on another way that SOTA gives back, saying: “They also will do things such as the Outreach program, which is kind of a school where adults with learning disabilities or physical disabilities or intellectual challenges can attend during the day where they’re working on actually gaining skills so that they can actually become employable if possible.” Among these things, other constant volunteering that is usually associated with SOTA includes the Houston Aphasia Recovery Center and the Rehabilitation Services Volunteer Project, both of which students go to monthly.
Students involved with SOTA do volunteer out of the kindness of their hearts, however; the community service they do benefits them in the long run. Lohmann continued: “At the end of it what happens is they get sponsors for raising money for what’s their recognition night, which is a night of celebration with their families before they go out to clinical field work. Then, the additional money that they have they raise… in order to give back to the community and distribute to those organizations that they felt had a really strong presence in our community.” Occupational Therapy students make it a priority to take the things they are learning in the classroom and apply them in real life situations