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Emily Carey begins studies in Occupational Therapy this fall. Mini U was great spring board into the program, she says // photo by Kathleen Phillips

Mini U experience leads to important future helping others

May 21, 2019 — 

A kid passes the ball. Another shoots and scores. The team goes wild.

Although official records aren’t archived on the statistic, it’s probably safe to assume tens of thousands of goals have been scored in Mini U Programs’ sports camp. For 23-year old Emily Carey, however, that particular moment, along with a few others, led her to pursue a education in occupational therapy.

“I wanted [the child] to feel like they were part of the group,” says Carey, who was working as a support staff to kids with special needs at the sports camp

“How it made everyone feel in that moment was very special to me.”

Her co-worker, Laryssa Yakimoski, notes Carey’s ability to provide support to children without making them feel singled out.

“None of the kids knew she was a support worker,” Yakimoski adds. “She made the child feel included, but still gave them the individualized help they needed.”

Carey, Mini U’s special needs supervisor, was accepted this year into the University of Manitoba’s Master of Occupational Therapy program in the Rady Faculty of Health SciencesCollege of Rehabilitation Sciences.

It’s the culmination of a goal she’s been working towards since age 19.

“I was really ecstatic when I found out,” she says. “I worked really hard to put myself in a position to achieve it.”

Jay Gamey, Mini U’s director, says it’s no surprise to him to see Carey achieve her goals.

“Every time we gave her more responsibility she exceeded our expectations,” says Gamey. “She has gone out of her way to acquire the skills she needs.”

Carey says having the overlap between values and skills she learned at Mini U, and what’s expected of a student in occupational therapy, was a big help.

“Anything they asked me in the interview, I thought of three Mini U examples. The goals are the same.”

Carey began working at Mini U in the summer of 2014 as a sub. Five years later, she’s in second year as a supervisor.

“It’s really cool to look at where I was then, and where I am now as a supervisor,” she adds. “It’s a completely different person”

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