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Author: Kaitlin Staggs

Kaitlin Staggs / Author

kstaggs@antiochcollege.edu

<p>I have always wanted to use my passion and artistic ability to help others. For me art has always been a therapeutic experience and a way to calm my mind. I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil and have worked on shaping my skills and creativity over time along with leading several projects with my high school art club. Growing up, I was always around people with disabilities. My mother worked in special education classes and eventually became an independent provider. Currently, with the help of my mother, I am a Independent Provider through the State of Ohio and work with two people who have mental disabilities. I have made art a big part of our time together and they seem to be benefiting from it. Along with it being a fun activity, they seem to be having improvement in their self esteem and overall stress level while with me. These small improvements have re-lit a fire in me to improve others lives through art.  My current co-op mixes my two passions of art and working with people who have disabilities. I work at We Care Arts which is an art therapy non profit organization. The clients that attend classes have a wide range of mental and or physical disabilities. Due to this I am learning how to assist people with all different kinds of needs. I absolutely love the path I have set myself on.</p>

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Therapeutic Arts: Kaitlin Staggs ’19 at We Care Arts

Jun 13, 2016
 

My Spring 2016 co-op is with We Care Arts in Kettering Ohio. The goal of this non-profit organization is to use art as a therapeutic source for people who have mental and/or physical disabilities.
My specific job within We Care is assisting clients during classes. Within the classroom there is a wide range of disabilities which means that I am learning how to assist many different people with very different needs. For example, Some people are in the classes for more of the socialization aspect and not for the art itself. Others are there either for both aspects or strictly for the art. I am learning how to help each individual by associating myself with them.
With any career working with people who have disabilities you have to be compassionate, attentive, and prepared for almost anything. I have already been working as an Independent provider for people with disabilities for some time now but We Care Arts has given me a different outlook on the profession. While at We Care you can see people beginning to progress in both their sociality and art skills. You get to see a true transformation of some clients and it is amazing. I love using my passion for art to change these peoples lives.
I believe that We Care Arts will continue to help people for years to come and I hope that I do so as well. Even if I decide to take a different career path I hope that I stay connected with this organization or one similar. Many people volunteer their time to this organization and it helps immensely, this is always an option.
Anyone looking for a similar experience is welcome to look into We Care Arts as their next co-op or as a volunteer opportunity. The staff and clients are wonderful and you will receive a unique experience there.