HUNTINGTON — Students from the Cabell County Career Technology Center’s Building Technology Program gave back to the community Wednesday while honing their hands-on skills, installing a custom-made rock wall for patients at the Developmental Therapy Center in Huntington.
The Developmental Therapy Center sees a primarily pediatric population with neurological or developmental delays, and the rock wall will serve as a fun way to work with and engage the kids, according to physical therapist Dr. Caleb Brownfield.
“The benefits could be motor planning skills, strength, endurance, grip strength — there’s a plethora of benefits from it,” Brownfield said. “For a nonprofit company like DTC to get the assistance from the career center was an amazing partnership.”
The DTC sought partnership in building the rock wall following budget constraints, and Bret Masters, instructor of the Building Technology Program, said the group was excited for another chance to help an outside organization.
“We do a lot of community service and projects,” Masters said. “You can buy one of these rock walls, but I think it’s great that we get the chance to build one. It’s custom made, and it’s exactly what they want.”
The Building Technology Program is a one-year course where students have the opportunity to experience various career paths through real-world projects and collaborations.
“After they complete that program, they get the opportunity to pick whatever area they want to go into, whether it’s carpentry, heating and air, electrical, even welding,” Masters said. “The majority of my students are ninth-graders, so they’re very young, and for a lot of them, this is their first chance to use these tools and their hands.”
The students’ age didn’t stop them from completing the sophisticated project, though, as the class designed detailed blueprints prior to the installation.
Student Anthony Adkins, 15, said it felt good to accomplish something so complex while also being able to contribute to the improvement of the patients.
“I’m helping others, but helping myself at the same time, and giving back to the people who might not have as much as I do,” Adkins said. “I’ve been able to learn a lot more about how you can use your hands and certain tools.”
Masters said it’s important for both the students and local organizations to benefit from these projects.
“It’s great to have a chance to have a working relationship with the community and businesses,” Masters said. “I like it when it’s a win-win, when everyone leaves and is happy with the product.”