Dear Champions Alumni, Family, Friends and Followers of the Champions Program,
My name is Jaslyen Singh, I am a UFV alumna and recent Doctor of Physiotherapy graduate. I was very fortunate to join the 2019 Champions as a physiotherapist at both the Adele School for Disability and the Victory Center.
Throughout my degree I heard nothing but amazing things about Dr. Sheppard’s program in Antigua. Still, the program exceeded my expectations.
In my first few days on the island I quickly realized that the Antiguan teachers were friendly and welcoming individuals that genuinely wanted what was best for their students. I also realized that resources were limited for all students, specifically young children with impairments.
I was able to sit down with parents, teachers and support staff to discus student specific goals that were functional at home and at school. It was evident that parents and teachers fully cared for the children and wanted to do whatever was necessary to help them. They simply needed guidance as to where to start.
I had the opportunity to take part in some amazing projects while on the island. I collaborated with Dr. Sheppard to make a walker out of PVC pipe for a young girl with Cerebral Palsy. I also teamed up with a number of the Champions to develop an outdoor balance area at Victory Center. Both projects were a success and were so much fun to be a part of. The students were so appreciative, smiling from ear to ear and ecstatic to share their joy with their loved ones. It was an experience of a lifetime.
I was so fortunate to be a part of a program that made such an impact on the students and school staff. The Champions embraced the culture and worked together with Antiguans to make sustainable changes.
I hope to return with the champions in the future and continue to work with children and their families on the island as a paediatric physiotherapist!
I would like to thank the Champions for having me on this trip and Dr. Sheppard for sharing her passion for education. I am in complete awe of the program that you have worked so tirelessly and passionately these last 14 years. I hope to one-day touch as many lives as you have!!