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.