Sailing to Success

PROVO, Utah – Jul 19, 2018 – It’s 70 degrees and sunny at Larchmont Harbor as Meagan Berry and others help disabled individuals mount sailboats for the Robby Pierce Regatta in Larchmont, New York. The water makes the air a little chillier, but participants in the regatta are nevertheless excited to be out on the ocean.

“We help people do a lot of things that they don’t think are possible unless they are fully functioning,” says Berry, a therapeutic recreation major interning at the Burke Rehabilitation Center in New York.

Burke Rehabilitation is an acute rehab facility that helps patients recover as fully as possible from debilitating disease, traumatic injury, or certain types of surgery. With a semester left in the therapeutic recreation major at BYU Marriott, Berry traveled to New York for the summer program.

“I headed to the East Coast because there’s more emphasis on the clinical side of TR in this area of the country,” she says. “At Burke, we help people who are learning how to use their bodies again.”

Adaptive sailing is only one of the wide variety of adaptive sports offered by Burke. The center also helps patients re-learn how to participate in golfing, cycling, waterskiing, snow skiing, and sled hockey within adaptive means.

To help patients re-learn how to golf, Burke incorporates adaptive equipment into the sport. The center offers technology for a variety of disabilities, including gloves that help strap a golfer’s hands onto the club or a wheelchair that stands the golfer up when it’s time to swing at the ball. 

“I have the opportunity to help people get back out there and realize they can still do the things they love,” Berry says. “They just have to do it in a different way.”

Berry’s path to choosing TR was different than many of her peers. After serving a mission for the LDS Church, she tried a semester of college but didn’t feel like school was where she needed to be at the moment. After four years working as a production control planner, Berry finally felt like it was her time to go back to school.

“I knew I enjoyed recreation, and there weren’t any other majors that interested me, so I decided to look into recreation management,” she says. “At an information session about the program, Dr. Ramon Zabriskie talked about all the different work he has done to help people through recreation. He unknowingly converted me to TR.”

Berry believes that the curriculum offered by BYU Marriott has set her apart in the workplace. Though TR is a different major than most in the business school, students are still required to take all the prerequisite courses, learning the basics of economics, finance, accounting, and marketing.

After graduating in December, Berry hopes to use her BYU Marriott skillset to end up back in New York and eventually use recreation to bring families closer, teaching them how to play together amid a technologically based society. She believes her background in recreation and business will help her to contribute to society and achieve her pursuit in helping families.

“BYU Marriott has helped me stand out and offer skills that benefit organizations and that most TR professionals don’t learn while at school,” she says. 

Meagan Berry
Meagan Berry

Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Sydney Zenger