A day in the life
I want to make my mark in the profession. I think the way to do that is through coming up with new and innovative ideas, and then researching them or putting them into practice.
A Passion for Positive Change
Brittany Weisgarber, now in her third year of the BSc Therapeutic Recreation program is optimistic about her academic and professional future. She believes in changing traditional therapies and coming up with positive and innovative ways to improve people’s quality of life. She has a genuine desire to help people and work with different populations, which is why Therapeutic Recreation is the perfect program for her.
"I would argue that everyone likes to have fun. Sometimes people just need some extra help to learn how to have fun in a healthy and positive way, and that’s where Therapeutic Recreation Specialists come in."
Originally from the prairie province of Saskatchewan, Brittany transferred from the general arts program at the University of Regina to Dal’s Therapeutic Rec program. From the first week of classes, particularly after the Recreation Orientation event, Brittany has been keen on being involved in whatever she can with the Recreation program. Since her first year, she has helped in organizing the Recreation Orientation event as a facilitator one year and coordinator another year. Additionally, she has held various positions on the Student Association of Health and Human Performance (SAHHPer), including first year TR rep.
"The program provides a lot of opportunity for hands on experiences. Through my class volunteer practicums I have made connections with different organizations that I continue to work with even after the end of the semester."
Throughout her three years at Dal, she has been able to work and volunteer in a number of positions with groups of people she had never pictured herself working with in the past. She has been involved in cooking and physical activity programs for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and even spent a summer in New York teaching arts and crafts at an all-ages camp for those with special needs.
"Really, I do not think I would have had those opportunities if I had not found out about this program."
Working with individuals with disabilities has been life changing for Brittany, but she is hoping to move forward in a different direction. She is interested in doing research that could potentially further the field of TR in prison based settings. The program has provided her with so many opportunities to learn about different populations. She even has the opportunity to start some of this research during her undergrad degree through Dalhousie’s honours program. Brittany is interested in developing Therapeutic Recreation interventions for incarcerated individuals that focus on improving mental health and adjusting leisure repertoire. The sky is the limit.
"That is the beautiful thing about this profession – it is new, but it is up and coming. If you have a passion for helping people and a vision for change, you can advocate for the benefits of TR with any population you want to work with."