A Senior Kinesiology major, Jenna decided to pursue a Physical Therapy internship in Ireland to continue developing her skills and commitment to therapy work, while also reconnecting to her Irish heritage. Stay posted in the coming weeks for photos and commentary from Jenna as her adventure unfolds!
“I grew up as a farmer’s daughter in southern Minnesota, where I learned my core values of hard work and integrity. Agricultural farming in my family traces back to my great-great grandfather who farmed in Cork County in Ireland. During the Great Famine, he moved to London for work and eventually made it to Minnesota, where he found fertile farm land. I chose Ireland because I wanted to find a sense of connection to my family roots—to step on the land they once cultivated and learn history of what they experienced first-hand. It seems that my core values I have today are values my ancestors had; values that nurtured not only land, but also a family tree that keeps growing. As for me, these values have taken me a long way in my academics and have shaped me into the woman I am today.
“After much experience shadowing physical therapists, participating in muscular dystrophy (MDA) camp as a counselor, working direct care for vulnerable adults with disabilities and now, my physical therapy internship, I have truly been called to change lives in a positive way.
The overarching theme that I have taken from these experiences is simply to break down any barriers that one may face to be able to reach their goal. In my Physical Therapy internship in Ireland, I have taken on an important role of empowering women who have intellectual and physical disabilities to take part in exercises recommended by their physical therapist and improve their daily living activities. I have led exercise classes to help elderly women improve their balance, educated on healthy eating, and assisted in daily living activities such as cooking. By the time my internship is done, I hope to see improvement of balance, diet, and daily living skills. Furthermore, I hope to take what I have learned about culture differences with me, as it will be important working with a variety of populations in my future.”
Posted by World Endeavors on June 27, 2017
World Endeavors believes that international travel has the power to change lives, broaden horizons, and deepen intercultural understanding. The world is undergoing rapid changes, with societies becoming more interconnected and environmentally aware; at the same time a more challenging global economy inspires in many a need to reach out and make a positive difference while seeking personal growth opportunities. There has never been a better time than now to travel abroad.