Saturday, October 8, 2016

GRADUATION LLU & UNAH Rehab Tech Students

I always look forward to graduation weekend for the Rehab Tech Students. This year was extra special as Nicholson was graduating, I taught all the students their Adaptive Design/Adaptive Equipment class in December of last year and I had 5 of them complete their level 2 3 month internships at the Miriam Center under my supervision. 
(I am working on a blogpost about the 5 students that completed their fieldworks at the Miriam Center)

Me with all 5 of my fieldwork students!!!! They were all pretty awesome!

Pre-graduation photo shoot with Nicholson and Estephyole's families. I am so proud of both of them. The week after graduation they both applied for the bachelors programs...Nicholson for Physical Therapy and Estephyole for Occupational Therapy. They passed all the entrance exams and both received a partial scholarship. They are both members of the HAOT the national OT Society. I am so excited to see what God has in store for them in the coming years! 

This year graduation was much different than years past as this was the transition year of the program being run by Loma Linda University (LLU) to being run by the Haitian University UNAH. So instead of a small more intimate graduation service their was an entire graduation weekend for ALL the students of UNAH graduating. I will be honest I missed the more intimate graduation. I also did not get to spend any time with Nicholson or the other students as they had events all weekend. The only event I was able to attend secondary to other meeting was the actual graduation ceremony. 

The Graduation Ceremony was HUGE. There were easily a couple thousand people there. I stayed outside for a long time taking pictures and talking to the students. By the time we got inside their was standing room only, which I was ok with but the Haitians in charge were not ok with the white people standing. So 1 women came up and said their was seating up top (I assumed she was referring to the balcony) but no...she was referring to on stage with all the important people in front of the HUGE crowd of people. So that is the story behind why I  accidentally ended up sitting on stage. As much as I disliked this at first it was a blessing in disguise because graduation lasted almost 5 hours and I got a seat, was not crowded and got to take some good pictures. I just had to get past the fact that their were thousands of people looking at me! Congratulations to the 5th cohort of LLU/UNAH graduates!

Rehab Technicians Lining up getting ready to enter for graduation

Nicholson and Estephyole

Dorgile and Monise

View from the back where I was originally standing.

View from on stage.... YIKES look at all those people

The Orchestra view from stage

Rehab Tech Final Projects and Last Day at Mission

The last day they had their exam on Adaptive Equipment and Adaptive design in the morning. Then in the afternoon they had their final presentations. The entire time they were at the mission for all 3 courses they were broken into 5 lab groups and each group had 6-7 Miriam Center kids. All their labs and homework revolved around these same kids. Their final presentations they had to present on:
1.  Each of the kids in their group including name, age, primary diagnosis, secondary diagnosis, 3 OT treatments, 3 PT treatments, 3 appropriate pieces of adaptive equipment from their textbook (Disabled Village Children), their cardboard carpentry projects and what child they were for and why they chose that child. Each of the 5 groups had 1 hour to present. They all did an overall great job. I can confidently say they all learned a lot!!! Also that is was probably 2.5 of the hardest weeks of school as I had to cram so much material in such a short period of time. Long days, a lot of information...but I truly believe in the end all their handwork paid off and we now have 17 more Rehab Techs in Haiti who understand and can advocate for children with special needs in Haiti!





We ended a very long and stressful week with a shaving cream and flour fight. It was great to have a good laugh and some fun together before they left. Everyone participated whether they wanted to or not.