Occupational Therapy program donates to PAR FORE

By Keanu Austin

Kean’s Occupational Therapy program held its first general body meeting of the year  Feb. 10, during the observance of American Heart Month.
In honor of the month-long observance, those present at the meeting worked together to create colorful artwork to be donated
to children.

“The art will be donated to PAR FORE,” said Rebecca Jones, a second-year graduate student in the Occupational Therapy program and treasurer of Kean’s Student Occupational Therapy Association. “It’ll go to at-risk kids and youth in the local area.”

According to its official website, PAR FORE is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving at-risk youth. Its integrated occupation-based mentor program works to prevent gang recruitment. New Jersey’s PAR FORE is run with the help of Kean University’s Occupational Therapy program, said Jones.

Students were welcome to attend the general body meeting and participate in the activity regardless of whether they belonged to the Occupational Therapy program.

“We have about 60 to 70 people here today,” said Ruth Ma, vice president of Kean’s Student Occupational Therapy Association. “Our program is also one of the only three in the state.”

Aside from Kean University, Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and Seton Hall University also have an Occupational Therapy program.

“We’ve won Funded Group of the Year two years in a row,” Ma said. “I’m hoping we can go for a third.”

Kean’s Student Organization declares one group the Funded Group of the Year annually, according to the university’s official website.
Last year, The Tower reported that the Occupational Therapy program would receive a therapy clinic. The clinic was scheduled to open by January of this year, but it has yet to fully open.

“We’re in the process of hiring a clinic manager,” said Claire Mulry, assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy. “We expect to teach classes as early as next week [the week of the 9th], but it won’t be fully open
until June.”

A clinic manager and adjunct professors are being enlisted to help supervise services and recruit clients, according to The Tower’s earlier report. The therapy clinic is one of Kean’s several projects that was approved and funded via the state’s Building Our Future Bond Act.

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