Hi everyone!

My name is Justine Carey and I am a Therapeutic Recreation Alumni from IC. I grew up in a small town just outside of Albany, NY. I enjoy horseback riding, hiking, swimming, reading, drawing and spending time with my friends and family.

From a young age I have wanted to combine my love of animals with my passion for helping people. As I got older I discovered Animal-Assisted Therapy and Therapeutic Horseback Riding. Through my research I learned that animal-assisted therapy is only one of the many modalities utilized in the field of Therapeutic Recreation to help people increase their overall quality of life. In addition to Animal-Assisted Therapy, Therapeutic Recreation also focuses on art, music, dance, and other recreation and leisure activities to plan purposeful interventions that will help each participant reach their individualized goals regarding physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual wellbeing. After this discovery, I knew Therapeutic Recreation was the perfect path for me.

My decision to attend Ithaca College was not a difficult one to make. After my first visit to campus I knew I belonged here. The campus was the perfect size and of course the views are incredible. However, the reason I was most drawn to Ithaca was not because of the “gorges” views, or the size of the campus, but rather the immediate sense of belonging I felt when I met with the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies faculty. They were incredibly kind and helpful, going out of their way to ensure that each and every student in the room felt comfortable and welcomed. Throughout my four years, I still felt that same sense of comfort and belonging in every class and interaction with my professors.

I am incredibly thankful for the hands-on, experiential learning styles of my classes. I felt very confident and prepared as I began applying for internships because of the immense amount of opportunities I had to push myself, learn the materials, then apply and practice what I had learned at Ithaca College. I am currently the Recreation Therapist at the Town of Brookline Recreation Center in Brookline, MA. The main purpose of my job is to provide inclusive and adaptive recreation opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. 

If you would like more information about my experience at IC or about my career now, please don’t hesitate to contact me at justcarey21@gmail.com.