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Humans of the U: Elizabeth Jezek

“I am from Orange County, California. When I was applying to colleges at the end of my junior year, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I applied all over. That summer, I started learning about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in February of my senior year, I was baptized. That was the same time as college admissions decisions were being made. While the other schools I applied to were great, I decided to come to the U, because I wanted to be in a community where the church was strong.

I am studying recreational therapy, because I have always been drawn to kids with intellectual disabilities. From elementary school to high school, I was a peer tutor in the special education program. I also really love sports and doing outside things. I took a special ed class at the U and I wasn’t really feeling it. My mom and I were talking and she suggested I find a way to combine these two things. When I found recreational therapy, I was really drawn to the fact that I could help children with disabilities do the things I love. Utah is the perfect place to get this major. The mountains are right there and there are so many programs in the valley that offer recreational therapy services.

One of my favorite experiences at the U was an internship I did last fall at the Ohana Day Center. This center in Woods Cross serves adults with Down syndrome, autism and related disabilities. It was a really cool experience to put into action what I am learning in the classroom. I love all the clinical opportunities my program has so that we get to learn by actually doing. 

I love the diversity of how many majors there are at the U. As someone who came to the U unsure of what I wanted to do and spent the first year or so taking a bunch of introductory classes, I really loved all of the options I had.”

— Elizabeth Jezek, a recreational therapy major from Orange County, California