Adam Casaceli, Adventist University of Health Sciences
Adam Casaceli, a second-year Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA) student at Adventist University, is a model student leader who is active in many issues of individual and social empowerment. For the past two years, Adam has volunteered for events designed to engage and empower those in need including volunteering at the HOPE Clinic with individuals who lack insurance coverage. While researching Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) to determine how AAT can/is benefiting students, he had the opportunity to present his findings at the Florida Occupational Therapy Association Conference. Adam has impacted the lives of many children and youth by volunteering with MicheLee Puppets and Surfers for Autism. He also created a Facebook page to provide information for disabled drivers and volunteers at a local adult day care center for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease.
Adam is a trusted leader. He recognizes needs in others and promptly responds to improve their quality of life. He brings excitement and ultimately motivates others to participate in community service events. His awareness of others in need, his motivation to make a difference, and his determination to never give up render him an exemplary candidate for the Newman Civic Fellow Leadership Award.
-David E. Greenlaw, President and CEO
I found my life’s passion after falling in love with my university’s program in occupational therapy, and because of that I try to participate in and be involved with as many activities related to my future profession as I can. Therefore, my approach to addressing the root cause of a problem is to engage people and find their interests, and then incorporate those interests into therapy. After being in school with a therapy dog and observing first-hand the effect dogs can have on people, I decided to do more research on therapy dogs. I had the opportunity to present my findings at the Florida Occupational Therapy Association conference on animal assisted therapy. By connecting my profession and passion for service I have been able to impact the lives of children and youth through my work with MicheLee Puppets. I have provided support, advocacy and expertise in my work with Surfers for Autism. After seeing the significant contributions therapy dogs have on peoples’ lives, I decided to buy my own puppy that I will train to be a therapy dog. The dog will go with me on my therapy assignments to help engage and empower people and increase their happiness.