Rec Therapy Month – Alumni Aerial Clay

Aerial Clay is a recreational therapy Class of 2019 alumna, currently working as a recreational therapist in the behavioral health unit at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro, North Carolina. She is a certified and licensed therapeutic recreation specialist and is a member of both the American Therapeutic Recreation Association and the North Carolina Recreational Therapy Association.

As a student, Aerial interned at Vidant Medical Center’s behavioral health department and at Atrium Health’s behavioral health unit in Charlotte. Aerial has also worked as a part-time teacher at Reimage Child Development Center in Winterville and as a paraprofessional for Easter Seals UCP. In all of these roles, Aerial assisted in the development and implementation of treatment plans and goals for a range of diagnoses including physical, social, cognitive, emotional and leisure domains for patients and clients of all ages.

As a volunteer, Aerial has made an impact by dedicating her time to the Special Olympics of Pitt County at A.G. Cox Middle School in Winterville, assisting the athletes and encouraging them throughout competition. Aerial has also volunteered with Tim Tebow’s “A Night to Shine” event, which offers opportunities for special needs individuals to attend a formal prom.

When asked about her HHP experience and what ECU means to her, Aerial said, “As a transfer student from Pitt Community College, I was anxious about what to expect. Throughout my courses, the professors, and advisors always ensured my educational experience at ECU was comforting. The HHP staff was there to help me every step of the way and filled me with encouragement. I would like to thank the staff and ECU for providing me with a wonderful educational experience and preparing me for the workforce!”

Aerial’s advice to current students? “Remember that everyone has their own path follow yours fearlessly.”