Spring 2019 Intern Perspectives on being at PWR!

Top: Hannah & Dom | Bottom: Aaron, Evan – PWR!Gym & PWR!Moves PT, Travis

The PWR! Gym has been very fortunate to have a relationship with the School of Public Health at the University of Arizona.  They have provided us with some amazing interns that have been assets to have at our organization.  During the Spring Semester we were very lucky to have 3 Public Health Interns, 2 from U of A (Hannah Klienbart & Travis Henderson) and 1 from NAU (Dom Dominguez).  They have been extremely helpful in completing some major PWR! projects.  We appreciate all their efforts! 


Please take a moment to read their perspectives on their time at PWR!.


In Aaron’s Words:

While attending the University of Arizona I was seeking volunteer/observation experience that aligned with my interest in neurological physical therapy. In January of 2017, I discovered the PWR!Gym and was given the opportunity to observe the physical therapists at work. I was astonished, immediately knowing I wanted to do more and began volunteering in group exercise classes. Soon after, I acquired an internship at PWR! to complete my bachelor’s degree in public health, assisting in the development of our monthly Wellness Series curriculum. Following my internship, I was offered a part-time job as a research assistant and could not have been more excited to have a growing role in the organization. After a year, I started a full-time position to continue my research roles and begin teaching group fitness class for our members. I have recently been accepted to the University of Colorado’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program achieving my most meaningful life goal. My departure to Denver is bittersweet as I say farewell to amazing members and staff at this incredible organization. I truthfully cherish the experience and memories that I will take with me.

In Hannah’s Words:

What was the purpose of your internship?
I initially started at the PWR! Gym to complete hours for my Public Health internship for the University of Arizona.

Did your internship meet your needs and in what way?
PWR! met my school needs of 250 intern hours to satisfy my internship, but it also satisfied my personal needs in the workplace. It supplied me with long-lasting friendships, positive role models, and new opportunities in every shift. 

What did you like best about your experience with PWR!?
I loved learning about a scope of life which was so different from mine. It opened my eyes and allowed for me to bond with the members of the PWR! Gym and help them either through my work or in everyday connections.

Do you have any big take-aways from this experience?
Other than learning more than I ever thought I would about PD and the importance of exercise, I learned about office dynamics and how to work efficiently and effectively in the workplace. I have loved learning new skills and lessons through all the differing tasks I was given.

Where will you go from here?
Since my internship, I’ve been hired at the PWR! Gym to instruct fitness classes and help with admin work! After the summer ends, since PWR! Gym has empowered me to get my Group Fitness Instructor Certification, I will take my newly acquired skills in fitness (and maybe even in PWR! Moves) and teach group fitness across the globe. My biggest dream (as of now) is to instruct interesting exercise techniques across the world, perhaps even on a cruise ship!

I want to thank PWR! for everything it has given me and all the wonderful people I have met through it!


In Dom’s Words:

What was the purpose of your internship?
The purpose of my internship was to work at a site where I can learn and develop skills that can contribute to or improve public health. In order to complete this, I was required to complete tasks assigned to me by PWR! that also met required outcomes from my school, Northern Arizona University.

Did your internship meet your needs and in what way?
My internship met my needs from both an educational and personal standpoint. I was able to learn about how the PWR! the organization operates by using methods that I have learned through my coursework. Some of these methods include planning effective programs, assessing individual and community health needs, and linking people to appropriate resources. Personally, the fulfillment of being able to be in a position where I can help this organization with tasks was met every day.

What did you like best about your experience with PWR! ?
What I liked best about my experience with PWR! was working with the PWR! staff. The entire staff was very welcoming and helped me a lot with any questions I may have had during my internship. Additionally, being able to interact and learn more about our members at the gym was awesome.

Do you have any big takeaways from this experience?
The biggest takeaway I have from this experience is that the PWR!Gym is passionate. This facility is continuously finding ways to improve their services and provide the best quality of care they can for their members.

Where will you go from here?
I have been fortunate enough to be offered an opportunity to stay here at the gym as a full-time staff which I have accepted. I am looking forward to my new role here as Education Coordinator at the PWR! gym and what the future has in store! 

In Travis’s Words:

What was the purpose of your internship?
The purpose of my internship was to apply the knowledge and skills I have developed at the University of Arizona to help Parkinson Wellness Recovery (PWR!) improve the lives of their members and staff.

Did your internship meet your needs and in what way?
Yes, my internship exceeded all of my expectations. I developed my researching skills and my interpersonal communication skills.

What did you like best about your experience with PWR!?
I have made personal connections with the members and staff at PWR!. That is something I will take with me for the rest of my life.

Do you have any big take always from this experience?
I have realized that Parkinson’s disease is impacting the lives of so many people. The work being done at PWR! is giving those suffering with the disease the opportunity to improve their health and wellness. I am so happy that I was given the opportunity to work with so many great people.

Where will you go from here?
On May 11th, 2019 I will be graduating from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. I will be applying for Physician Assistant programs this summer. My dream is to be a practicing PA-C within 3-4 years.