Posted on Thursday, June 20, 2013
Taylor Milbrath '14 recently returned from studying abroad at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. Among the courses she completed was a service learning course that focused on all aspects of health, including mental and spiritual.
"The programs focus mainly on positive thinking and education, helping people come to terms with their experience and live life in a positive way," explains Milbrath. "The difference in the healthcare system was one of the things that really surprised me."
For the service component of this course, she volunteered at The Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation, which focuses on treating patients with chronic illnesses or who have undergone severe trauma.
While at the center, she had a rather unique assignment: dance.
"We were asked to choreograph a five-minute dance sharing the stories of three patients at the center," she explains. Each of the patients had a different experience but the goal of the piece was to show how each of them had overcome their challenges and come to a better place. Milbrath and her classmates performed the dance at an event at the center.
In addition, Milbrath coordinated an outreach event between the university and the center that included education and a student message board for patients.
"Service learning is another way to get out and explore a new community," notes Milbrath. "It really helped me to understand the community better and to become more independent."
On campus, Milbrath is a psychology major with minors in biology and health professions. She is a civic leader through the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning and helps coordinate the Habitat for Humanity program on campus.