Senior nursing students at Oklahoma Baptist University will host a “Walk for Autism Awareness” around the Oval on OBU’s campus Saturday, Nov. 18, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The Shawnee community is invited to walk and engage with resource stations spread across the Oval. Each station will have information on resources available to the Shawnee community, paired with unique activities for attendees.
Participants will include Senator Ron Sharp, Cargo Ranch and Blue Zones.
Senior nursing majors created the event as a part of their community health class, where students work together in groups to discover the needs of a community of people and to help meet those needs.
Hannah Gordon, a member of Community Health Clinical Group C, said her group decided on helping the autism community based on a previous experience with a local support group.
“We started looking at the resources available to families with autistic children in Shawnee, and discovered two things. First, there aren't very many resources in Oklahoma, let alone Shawnee. Secondly, if there are resources, they are hard to find,” Gordon said.
She believes this project afforded the students a learning experience from several different perspectives.
“From a class perspective, I have learned a great deal about how to communicate well within my group and how to communicate well with agencies and people you want to reach out to,” she said. “Overall, this project has taught me what public and community health nurses do and strive to do – that is to promote health through connecting the community to available resources, and if those resources don't exist, then working toward getting them into existence.”