On May 14-16, physical therapy students Ann Shikles and Marissa Arnerich participated in a Virtual Service Experience (VSE) in the Dominican Republic through a nonprofit organization called Here for Kids. Here for Kids aims to help at-risk children through sending teams of students and young adults to various locations throughout the world to share their sports and educational gifts. For this VSE, Here for Kids partnered with an organization called Kids Alive Dominican Republic.
Shikles and Arnerich worked with two sites in the Dominican Republic during their virtual service experience. These sites have both a children’s home and school associated with them that are run by Kids Alive. The students learned about the sites and the work they do there, took a virtual tour of the neighborhoods that house the sites and the sites themselves, and met with missionaries placed in the Dominican Republic.
Arnerich explained, “We also were able to virtually meet and play with the kids living in the children’s home at one of the sites. In addition to learning about our partner sites and organizations, we also learned a lot about each other through testimonies and devotionals. Together, we spoke about our faith journeys, reflected on the importance of service and what it truly means to serve, and how we as future physical therapists will be able to apply our hearts for service into our profession.”