LaParis Grimes, B.S. in Applied Health Science – Specialization in Public Health (2015)
Wellness Connection Attendant, Peer Educator, and Student Wellness Network Member
It was great to work alongside people who share your passions and really love and care about what they do. Before I became involved with the Department of Recreation and Wellness I was not involved on campus at all. I was not a member of any clubs and never attended any events. I tended to hang out with a smaller group of friends that I met freshman year and that was it. When I became a part of RecWell all of that changed. I finally felt like I had a place where I really fit in. I met different types of people who were all brought together with a similar passion. It is very hard to not want to be a part of that. Most of my best memories of college involve RecWell.
The Department of Recreation and Wellness is a huge factor behind my professional growth and success as well. I was able to obtain an internship through the Wellness Connection that gave me experience with the process of program planning and marketing strategies. Through the Peer Education program I was able to overcome my fear of public speaking and work on my presentation skills with different audiences. I had the opportunity to attend and present at both regional and national Peer Education conferences. Also, through the Student Wellness Network organization I was able to gain leadership experience that was critical in getting my current position in Americorps VISTA after graduating.
Working for the Department of Recreation and Wellness has really taught me about the importance of building relationships with people. The staff at RecWell are some of the greatest people I've ever worked with. It never felt like work while I was there. This department goes above in beyond to care for their employees and bring them together for both learning opportunities and fun. It was great to work alongside people who share your passions and really love and care about what they do. There were so many people who mentored me and helped me make it through college and on to my next steps. I was overwhelmed by the amazing recommendations I received from some of the staff after working there. I made some great friends while I was there that I plan on staying in contact with as I transition through life.
All of these experiences have been critical in me finding Public Health and my love of health education. These things are huge reasons for me serving with Americorps VISTA. Without my involvement in RecWell I would not be where I am now or the person I am now. I thank the Recreation and Wellness Department for my accomplishments both during and after college. Leaving RecWell and all of the great experiences and relationships I built there was one of the saddest parts of graduation. I will always be grateful for my time there and all of the wonderful people I built some great memories with.
*After graduating, LaParis relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio where she found employment in the nonprofit organization, Americorps VISTA.