Student Spotlight: Shannon Domfort
My name is Shannon Domfort and I am currently a junior double majoring in the Bachelor of Health Science Pre-Occupational Therapy program and Psychology. I plan on working as an Occupational Therapist in Pediatrics. My ultimate career goal is to open up a sensory integration clinic.
Three years ago I entered UF with the plan of becoming an Occupational Therapist and through my time here, both in the classroom and in the community, my desire to pursue this career has only been strengthened. My aspiration to make a difference and provide support for people with disabilities began on my little league soccer team. There was a boy on my team with learning disabilities but through the support of a coach who worked as an OT and encouraging teammates, he was able to become a vital member of our team and be a part of a bigger community. We ended up going to the same high school and through our relationship I realized what the difference of one person could be.
After joining the UF community I knew I wanted to continue these kinds of relationships, so I got involved with the Young Athletes Program at Balance 180. This Special Olympics program offers adaptive sports for children with disabilities and their peers between the ages of 2 and 7. As a coach I develop the lesson plans to facilitate the basic motor skills needed to play various sports such as balancing, jumping, throwing, and striking but I also get to see the children flourish both socially and cognitively. I also volunteer every Saturday as an assistant coach in the adaptive gymnastics program Balance 180 offers. The most rewarding part about this program is that many of the athletes, after working one on one in the adaptive class, are then able to integrate into the recreational classes offered at the gym. Balance 180’s motto is “to the world you are just one person, but to one person you are the world.” What an amazing field we get to be a part of to be that person for so many!
I also work as a therapist at Behavioral Analysis Support Services early intervention autism clinic. I implement Applied Behavioral Analysis therapy to promote productivity and increase independence. It has been such an amazing experience to see my clients improve within the clinic and the community and reach milestones that their families did not think were possible. Before working here I was also given the opportunity to work as a research assistant for a UF psychology study using the children at the clinic to study reinforcement schedules and compliance for dental procedures.
This year I am a mentor in the L.E.A.P program to two awesome mentees, and I love to share with them the little bit of wisdom that I have gained through my time here. As a mentor I provide support and guidance to younger pre-health students about classes, stress, time management, and any other questions they have about the program. I am also a member of the Student Occupational Therapy Association. I am also in the BHS Honors program and look forward to beginning my research in the coming semesters.
Aside from academics I love to play volleyball and am currently the Service Chair for the Gator Beach Volleyball club. When I am not in the classroom you can find me outside enjoying all that Gainesville has to offer. As always, Go Gators!