Getting to Know

Student aims to share her blessings by helping others

2013-05-30T00:00:00Z Student aims to share her blessings by helping othersBy Kimberly Cheek-Stanley Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
May 30, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Illiana Christian High School senior Olivia Holesinger is excited to begin her journey toward a career as an occupational therapist.

“I’ve had this plan for a few years now and I can hardly wait to put it into action. It’s something that my heart is in,” she said.

“There is something special about working with someone who has a disability and helping them hold a pencil or pull on a sock. They feel so accomplished once they do it and it’s so exciting.”

Holesinger will attend Calvin College in Michigan for a pre-occupational therapy program and complete clinical training for her master’s degree at Washington University.

“I first started learning (about) Asperger’s Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and Down Syndrome. They were getting a lot of coverage in media and people were becoming more aware of them,” Holesinger said.

“Then, my little cousin was born with Down Syndrome and I just fell in love with occupational therapy.”

“The field really makes you take a step back and reevaluate your life. We take so much for granted and forget what a blessing it is to have a body that functions the way God intended it to,” she added.

The daughter of Steve and Julie Holesinger, of Dyer, Olivia was recently recognized by the Lansing Rotary Club for her excellent grades and work in the Christian Service Club at Illiana.

“Our club has adopted a quote from Mother Teresa as our motto; it says that none of us can do great things, only small things with great love.”

“We spend a few hours getting to know the elderly, lending an ear to someone at a shelter, or hanging out with a little kid who has a disability in hopes that our actions will plant seeds of faith,” she said.

Holesinger is active in the youth group at Munster Christian Reformed Church, and began a ministry there for children 3 to grade 3. She recently traveled to the Dominican Republic to help remodel a grade school.

“God has blessed me with a lot and it is important to me to thank Him by blessing others,” she said.

To nominate someone for this feature, contact kimberly.a.cheek@gmail.com.

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