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      MLK Day of Service

      Widener University Serves Community in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

      Physical Therapy

      Graduate students in the Institute for Physical Therapy Education participated in the program's annual mobility clinic on Friday for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

      Widener University students participated in a number of service projects and commemorative events in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 15.

      Since the university was closed that day in observance, students used the day to reflect on King’s legacy and mark the occasion in Chester, the city where King once studied.

      The Office of Civic Engagement coordinated students who volunteered at service sites, including The Boys and Girls Club, Cityteam and Third Presbyterian Church. Students also led street cleanup efforts in the Sun Hill neighborhood and near Talen Energy Stadium and volunteered at the Chester’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Committee’s celebration at the Chamber Foundation.

      “King’s connections to Chester are strong, having studied at the former Crozer Theological Seminary,” said Assistant Dean of Civic Engagement Gretchen Mielke. “We were honored to carry on his legacy, as our students fanned out across Chester for civic engagement projects and to give back to the community we’re proud to call home. There’s really no better place to do MLK Day work than right here.”

      On Monday evening, the Black Student Union hosted the 24th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Service on campus. The service was led by senior Destiny Saunders, president of the Black Student Union, and included reflections, dance and song by Widener students.

      Hoops from the Heart

      Hoops from the Heart

      Hoops from the Heart

      The Hoops from the Heart initiative has raised more than $100,000 for the Community Action Agency of Delaware County through basketball clinics like the one held at Widener on Monday.

      Widener University’s men’s and women’s basketball programs hosted the 17th Annual Hoops from the Heart Martin Luther King Jr. Day youth basketball clinic on Monday.

      Nearly 50 children filled the Schwartz Athletic Center for the clinic to learn the fundamentals of basketball from head coaches Chris Carideo and Alisa Kintner, as well as student-athletes and support staff.

      "I have been participating in this clinic for four years now, and I can honestly say it is always a great experience," said senior women's basketball player and elementary education major Nikki Petri. "Both basketball teams provide different types of activities for the children. We all have a lot of fun helping these kids work on their basketball skills while celebrating this important holiday each year."

      Proceeds from the clinic benefited the Community Action Agency of Delaware County (CAADC), a non-profit agency that provides services to needy families and individuals in the community. Attendees of the clinic also brought non-perishable food items for CAADC.

      The annual clinic was founded in 2002. Clinics also took place at Cabrini University, Haverford College and Neumann University. To date, the clinics have raised more than $100,000 to help the CAADC.

      MLK Day of Service Mobility Clinic

      Graduate students in the Institute for Physical Therapy Education participated in the program’s annual mobility clinic. The student-operated clinics were hosted at 10 community partner sites throughout Chester on Friday, Jan. 12.

      Accompanied by a faculty mentor, groups of physical therapy graduate students were on-site performing blood pressure screenings and mobility device cleanings and assessments for devices, such as wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, crutches and canes. Community members welcomed Widener students and expressed their gratitude for the students’ service.

      Similar to the first-hand learning gained in the physical therapy pro-bono health clinic, the mobile clinic allows students to apply the curriculum outside of the classroom and practice techniques on a variety of individuals and patients.

      “These clinics are a great experience,” said Jacqueline Ruggiero, physical therapy graduate student. “We get to learn everything that we’re doing in class and then apply it in the real world.”

      Students said they felt a deep appreciation for the opportunity to volunteer needed healthcare services and engage with the community in a meaningful way, especially during a time of year devoted to King.

      “Martin Luther King Jr. has a big influence in this area, so on a day like this it’s nice to be able to come out and help people,” explained Patrick Rutledge, a physical therapy graduate student.


      Local media covered several of the campus events and service projects. WPVI (ABC) featured the physical therapy clinic and commemorative service. WCAU (NBC) featured the Hoops from the Heart clinic.


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