In early July, Maura Moyle received a call she never expected from her friend and colleague, Jayne Jaskolski. “You are inviting me to do what?!” Maura replied.
Jayne called to invite Maura to go to Belize just a few short weeks later to serve with a nonprofit organization called Therapy Adventures.
Therapy Adventures runs a free therapy clinic in Belize City, serving children of all ages and providing speech, occupational, and behavioral therapy.
“At first, I was taken aback”, says Maura. “I am used to teaching my U.S. students and serving at various places in my own country, but serving in Belize was a new twist. What about traveling, passports, required vaccinations, logistics, my parental responsibilities, not to mention Covid?” Maura thought.
But the more Maura thought about the trip, the more she was determined to accompany Jayne and serve the children of Belize.
Maura, trusting in Jayne and having a desire to serve, agreed to go. Maura still had to figure out how to make it all work on the home and work front. She sprung into action making plans for her trip.
On July 30th, 2022, Maura and Jayne landed in Belize City not knowing what to expect. Maura, Jayne, and the other volunteers were ushered to their cabin in the tropical countryside and prepared for the week.
The week consisted of serving children through the school system, made possible by a partnership forged between the local nonprofit Autism Belize and Chicago-based Therapy Adventures. Maura and the group also participated in many cross-cultural experiences and met with the parents of the children they were serving.
When the weeklong mission was complete, Maura returned to Milwaukee, where she serves as an associate professor for Marquette University. Maura was a changed person. “Going to Belize allowed me to re-experience speech and language therapy in new and fresh ways. I have a renewed appreciation for our field. Belize reinvigorated me in so many ways – and I have the heart to serve the children of Belize in the future”, says Maura.
Maura is making good on her promise. When she returned to Marquette, she quickly scheduled a Zoom call with a Therapy Adventures partnership coordinator to explore how Marquette might get more involved. The mission of Marquette University and Therapy Adventures is the perfect fit. Maura wants to see where this can go.