West Coast University's Class of 2018 doctor of physical therapy recently won the 2017 California Outreach Challenge by volunteering more than 1,700 hours in six months.
WCU students crushed the friendly competition with eight DPT students finishing in the top 10 statewide. Out of a collective 5,302.70 hours, West Coast University students racked up a grand total of 1,723.20 hours. DPT student Cara Kahm was also recognized for her individual efforts and completing 146.50 hours of volunteer work.
The Outreach Challenge is a statewide competition that challenges student physical therapists and student physical therapist assistants to accrue volunteer hours in their local communities. Students register online and log volunteer hours over the course of six months.
Not willing to rest on its laurels, the DPT program was back at work in the community soon after winning the challenge. On May 12, more than 20 students spent the day with Special Olympics athletes at the 2017 Spring Games. Hosted by Duarte Unified School District, the all-day track and field event featured more than 300 students from East San Gabriel Valley competing in sprints, the long jump, and softball or tennis ball throws.
"WCU DPT students helped set up the field, manage traffic, run events and hand out awards while promoting healthy lifestyles and the transformation of society through movement and sport," WCU DPT professor Dawn James said. "We love helping Southern California Special Olympics provide athletes with the chance to develop physical fitness, sports skills, social skills and self-esteem."