Maddy is our new fieldwork student from GVSU! When you get a chance, please stop and say hello when you see her at the barn. For now, you can learn a little more about Maddy by reading what she has provided below. So glad to have you for the summer, Maddy!

Hello! My name is Maddy Ellis and I am writing you today to thank you for hosting me in my fieldwork this summer and also to explain a little bit about myself. Originally from mid-Michigan (Owosso), I moved to West Michigan in 2016 to attend Grand Valley. My major is Therapeutic Recreation and I am also receiving a minor in Psychology. As a child, I rode horses for a short period of time on a farm of a family friend. Other than that, my horse experience is limited. Hopefully it’s like riding a bike and it will all come back to me!

As a student in my program, I am given the opportunity to complete fieldwork in order to gain more experience and knowledge in my future profession. Shaina Strikwerda, CTRS is my supervisor this summer and I look forward to learning a lot about her experience in programming and being a part of the amazing things that are happening here at Renew TRC.

Therapeutic Recreation aims to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities through the use of leisure activities and recreation. Therapeutic riding is one of the many treatment options I will be able to use in the future. Other treatments include adventure therapy like rock climbing or high ropes courses, or in a community setting like a nursing home, a cooking class or reading club. I am personally interested in working in behavioral health but I will also be equipped to serve people with developmental, cognitive, and physical disabilities. Doing my fieldwork here at Renew is especially helpful because I am getting to meet so many unique people with and without disabilities.

Only after having been here for two weeks, it is easy to recognize the amazing work that is being done and the enormous effort put forth by the volunteers and staff. I have never been a part of a program with such a caring and helpful support system, and it’s all for the love of Renew. I am excited to get to know each of you better and to learn about why you are a part of this program. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions about myself or my fieldwork position, as well as just to chat. I so look forward to spending my summer here and with all of you!

Madeline Ellis