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Rec and Leisure grad finds rewarding career helping aging population

Amanda Brogan
Amanda Brogan, Class of 2016

Amanda Brogan wanted a career that allowed her to help people and impact their quality of life.

The opportunity came sooner than the 2016 York College of Pennsylvania graduate expected. A nursing home and rehab center in New Jersey recently named her Recreation Director.

“I never thought my first year out of college I’d be taking on a director position,” Amanda says

In her new position, Amanda plans daily activities for the center’s residents. Each activity aims to meet residents’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

“Being able to go to work and know I’m making a difference in someone’s life makes for a very rewarding job,” Amanda says. “I can’t thank York College enough for its work to prepare me for a career I love.”

‘Instantly fell in love’

When considering schools, Amanda thought York College was too far away from her hometown of Franklin Lakes, N.J.

A few high school classmates said they going there, though, so she applied. After York College accepted her, Amanda and her father made the three-hour trip to campus.

“When I visited, I instantly fell in love with the beautiful campus,” she says. “It felt completely right.”

She wasn’t sure what career path she wanted to pursue at the time. York College offered a number and variety of majors. She chose Sport Management first.

Her sophomore year, Amanda switched to Recreation and Leisure Administration. She thought the therapeutic recreation track aligned with her career goals.

Experience that makes a difference

York College’s Recreation and Leisure Administration curriculum includes in-depth field experience. It's designed to give students a competitive edge when they enter the job market.

Each student must complete a 600-hour internship experience spent at one job site.

Amanda spent her Directed Field Experience at the Margaret E. Moul Home. The long-term care facility in York is for adults with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis and other neuromuscular impairments.

“That internship is what really spoke to me,” Amanda says. “It made me say ‘Wow, this is what I’m meant to do.’ It reassured me that I picked the right major.”

Getting the most out of school

Amanda’s education was more than sitting in a classroom. It was going out and getting hands-on experience.

“York College did an excellent job with teaching me how to be professional,” she says.

For Amanda, her experience and education helped her stand out.

Before graduating, she ran programs at assisted living facilities. She also was a member of a sorority and the women's club lacrosse, where she held executive board positions which helped mold her leadership skills.

Her teachers left an impression on her, too.

“Professors make a huge impact on the department,” she says. “They have so much experience and knowledge to share with students. They go above and beyond to make sure you’re getting the most out of your education.”