Samantha Ball – UNCG Community & Therapeutic Recreation

So my name is Samantha Ball. I’m from
Raleigh North Carolina and I am in the community and therapeutic recreation
department. I’m pursuing a Masters of Science and therapeutic recreation. This
program has given me the hands-on experience I need to kind of build my
leadership skills and build my skills as working and kind of therapeutic setting
outdoors. I’ve gotten a lot of experience working indoors with therapeutic
settings but you don’t often get a chance to go outside and work hands-on
with a group of individuals twice a week this is really really great. As part of
my assistantship I was set up with Justin Harmon to work with his celebrate
the trail to recovery program and what this program is is it’s a hiking program
every Wednesday and Saturday for cancer patients cancer survivors caregivers
supporters and really anyone who wants to join. So I’ve been told by those who
participate that is their favorite part of their week this program has not only
gotten people out of their beds to go and do physical activity which a lot of
them didn’t think that they could still be doing but it’s also introduced them
to folks in the community that lived very close to them that are going
through a similar battle and have gone through similar battles these people are
getting to experience something with a group of individuals that understand
them. When they come out and we lead the hikes but really the amount of life
experiences life lessons that this group has taught me has been nothing I could
ever replace. My goal after I graduate is I want to work in a behavioral health
setting but on top of that I want to work with inclusion in the community and
one of my biggest goals and it has been for many years is to continue doing
outdoor education and so to incorporate that into therapeutic recreation would
be beautiful. I’ve been shocked at the amount of opportunities I’ve had I never
once thought that I would be a teaching assistant I was able to do that I never
once thought that I would be out hiking with individuals every week and getting
paid for it and giving the opportunity to work with people hands-on like I am
and on top of that I’ve been shocked with the faculty and how much they
invest into their students it’s one of the coolest things about the program. I
have never felt so supported and so I don’t know grounded in school and it’s
just really it’s one big community over there It’s one of the best experiences
about UNCG I love it so much