Moraine Valley Community College student Marina Uher, of Oak Lawn, has been awarded two scholarships from state recreation associations.

“I was really honored to earn these awards,” said Uher, who will graduate in May with a recreation therapy degree. “It really is a big deal to win as a community college student up against four-year universities.”

The Illinois Park and Recreation Association and the Illinois Recreation Therapy Association award these scholarships based on applicant essays. “Our program is the only two-year college in Illinois that offers a degree in recreation therapy. It was such an honor for Marina to earn these very prestigious state awards,” said Donna McCauley, coordinator of Recreation Therapy/Recreation and Sport Management.

Uher is completing an internship at Smith Village in Chicago, where she works in the Life Enrichment department assisting with the facilitation of programs and activities for senior residents. “It’s so nice to see residents who are down and then start to liven up when they hear music or participate in one of our activities. It’s amazing to see those changes take place in such a small period of time,” she said. Uher, who plans to transfer to the University of St. Francis in Joliet, also spends time at the Oak Lawn Park District assisting with special education programs, including Special Olympics swim.

“I am so confident Marina will make a tremendous impact on the lives of so many individuals with disabilities because of her work ethic, patience and dedication. She truly will make a difference as a competent recreation therapy professional,” McCauley said.