Maplewood students visit Coleman Adult Day facility

By Mary Louise Ruehr | Staff Writer Published:

Sophomore Medical Pre-Professional Academy students at Maplewood Career Center in Ravenna recently visited the Coleman Adult Day facility in Ravenna.

Students in the academy visit Coleman every year to learn about the career field of geriatrics and to work with the clients.

This year the students heard from Janet Phillips, chief officer; Kim Hudson, development executive; and Debra Pfleiderer, licensed practical nurse.

In addition to hearing about the job opportunities at the facility, they spent time talking with clients and creating crafts, playing Wii games, and exercising with the clients.

During their visit, client Pearl Gardner was celebrating her 86th birthday, and the students sang "Happy Birthday" to her.

All of the students are in the Medical Pre-Professional Academy because they are exploring various medical career opportunities, said Michelle McPherson, career education coordinator at Maplewood. Often, the lessons learned are much deeper than just learning about a job in the medical field, she said.

She tells students that to be successful in the medical field, they should be kind and thoughtful and have patience. "This event lets them explore this wonderful facility that provides family members an opportunity to have some free time, go to work, or get groceries," said McPherson.

The students said they found the experience rewarding. "I enjoyed spending time with the people, learning about their lives, and learning a few life lessons," said Erica Thomas of Ravenna High School.

"I learned that just talking to someone can make their day better, especially if they like telling stories about their life," said Nicole Miller of Waterloo High School.

"They (Coleman) do outstanding activities with the clients. Every year I get a new group of sophomores and we are thankful they have us out every year. The staff told us the clients look forward to the students being there," said McPherson.

"I learned to really cherish the time with your grandparents and realize, you only live once," said Ewelina Siwik of Streetsboro High School. "Give a stranger one of your smiles -- it might be the only sunshine they see all day," she said.

For information, contact McPherson at Maplewood, 330-296-2892, ext. 551100.

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