UM Students Helping Montanans with Developmental Disabilities
“I locate, pack, and ship adaptive equipment all over Montana.” Megan Murphy, a UM pharmacy student, is talking about her work-study job with the Montana Adaptive Equipment Program (MAEP). For more than two decades, the program has provided adaptive equipment to Montanans with developmental disabilities. Megan is one of several UM students who are the hands that make sure people from Superior to Sydney get the equipment they need to be more independent. Megan says that this experience has “really opened my eyes to other opportunities.” She adds, “When I'm a pharmacist, I'll be asked a lot of questions regarding medical equipment and now I feel like I know what I'm talking about.”
Working with Mindy Renfro, the Program Coordinator and licensed physical therapist, this experience gives Megan and her student colleagues an opportunity to expand their education. Experiences such as these make classroom learning much more relevant to real life. It’s not often that students learn about how to serve the community and then get the chance to put the learning to good use so quickly.