Minnesota News

Students Making a Difference: Volunteering towards a Future

WINONA, Minn. - A local student lays the groundwork for her future, while serving people in need.

This month's Student Making a Difference is Casey Peterson, a senior at Winona Senior High School.

She volunteers two hours a day, four days a week at the Developmental Achievement Center as part of a class.

The organization works with adults who have a disability, helping them find a job or volunteer throughout the community. It also gives them the tools they need to reach their potential.

One of the D.A.C.'s area of emphasis is physical therapy. That's where Casey spent her time volunteering.


She would help the participants ride the exercise bikes, encourage them while bouncing on workout balls, and exercise with a Richard Simmons video.

Casey says it was a great experience working in a new kind of environment.

"I got a new outlook on things and helped me decide that I kind of want to do that for my future and I guess I wouldn't have known that I wanted do that if I hadn't come here and helped out," said Casey.

Ryan Buhler is the vocational coordinator at the D.A.C. and says it's a luxury to have students like Casey volunteer. It gives the participants a chance to have the one on one time they desire.

"Casey came in with a really great attitude, she came an wanted to be here, wanted to be a part of it," says Buhler, "Casey built a great report with a few of our clients and really got along well with them, I think she got as much out of it and enjoyed being there as much as they did."

Casey will graduate this May and plans to major in Occupational Therapy at UW-La Crosse. That way she can work in an environment like the D.A.C.

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