Martial Arts Therapy, Inc.

High School Community Volunteer (36 Hour) Program

 

The community volunteer program is designed for Juniors in high school and follows through their Senior year.  This program is for students who are thinking about going into the health services field.  They will receive orientations designed to teach them how to work with persons who have neurological deficits that participate in the Martial Arts Therapy program.  The orientations are designed to teach skills starting with spatial awareness to social integration.  

 

Each student volunteer is required to attend (5) one hour orientations on the basics of human movement and working with a partner at the end of their Junior year.  Student volunteers are also required to observe/assist in one 3-hour Martial Arts Therapy Belt testing during the month of June.  Students will earn a total of 8 volunteer credit hours.  Their following Senior year they will participate in 12 scheduled fall semester classes and 12 scheduled winter classes for a total of 24 hours.  The classes are scheduled at the same time and place each week.   

 

The students earn their final four credit hours by writing two papers.  The first is a hand writen one page summary of their experience in the volunteer program.  The second is typed paper comparing the Martial Arts Therapy program versus another therapeutic martial arts program that they find from a basic internet search of: martial arts therapy.  

 

Students who have met the 36-hour volunteer requirement will receive a Martial Arts Therapy Volunteer Certification.  This certification can be used on personal resumes or as a reference of character. 

 

This is opportune time for students finishing their Junior year to make a commitment for their senior year.  This program has the benefits of hands-on knowledge within the health and science fields while working with actual clients.  Other benefits may include students' interest in the martial arts for hobby and exercise or as a means of exploring ancient philosophy.  "What a prime time for young folks gearing up for college, as they start deciding on their future, it is career pathway meets volunteerism at its finest," states Tracey Golembiewski, a certified M.A.T. Co-Instructor.

 

Volunteering time shows great commitment and should include positive goals associated with everyday life, interacting with society and representing oneself professionally.  What is unique about participation in a Martial Arts Therapy program compared to that of its counterparts; traditional, or mainstream martial arts, is the opportunity to work with disabled populations on a one-to-one fashion with which whom they may have avoided in the past possibly due to lack of understanding or exposure.  Martial Arts Therapy is a program created as a therapeutic tool for those working towards specific and generalized goals to aid in the transition from dependence to independence for personal and community daily living benefits. The volunteer program gives the Martial Arts Therapy student a chance to work with those who may have viewed them differently before due to focusing or putting the spotlight on their special needs vs. them as a person or what similar goals they may share.  Additionally, both parties gain the combination of cognitive, physical and social skills in one environment that applies to real life scenarios.        



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