Miranda Gould Contributing Writer
Recent UMF graduate Olivia Sullivan celebrates being hired on-the-spot for her dream job of occupational therapy. As Sullivan works towards getting into graduate school, she is also working as a registered behavior technician through A Brand New Day, an occupational therapy center for children on the autism spectrum, located in Southington, CT.
“It was really important to me to be able to work in the field I went to school for and am most passionate about,” said Sullivan. After getting the job, she got to work immediately the following week.
Before graduating, Sullivan completed over 450 hours in the occupational therapy department and at Franklin Memorial Hospital. She spent her time at the hospital every
week day split between in-patient care and out-patient care. “I worked really hard to get to this position in my life,” said Sullivan, “I’ve always wanted to be an occupational therapist, but the internship my school provided for me before I graduated really made me want it more.”
Olivia Sullivan with her parents at the 2019 UMF Commencement (Photo courtesy of Olivia Sullivan)
“During my time working in-patient care, I would work with patients on placing them in long-term care facilities,” said Sullivan. “When working in out-patient, I would see the same patients for a longer duration of time.” Sullivan worked with these patients on rehabilitating themselves so they could meet their daily life activities, such as hygiene needs, getting in or out of a bed, and preparing themselves meals.
Sullivan feels this internship really expanded her knowledge on occupational therapy and has prepared her for what is to come. Working as a behavior technician, she is exhibiting her new skills that she learned through her internship and time at UMF.
Her job consists of working closely with children with autism and their families in their home. She has taken on three different cases since graduating, and continues to work with them at home daily. “I feel like I’m really helping these kids and their families,” said Sullivan.
Sullivan notes that the job isn’t always easy, for sometimes the children are reluctant to listen, but it’s really rewarding at the end of the day when she realizes she has made an impact and is continuing to pick up skills that will help her grow as an occupational therapist.
In the future, Sullivan hopes to attend graduate school and get her master’s in occupational therapy. She has been working on applying and deciding which school is the right fit for her. “I think my future is really bright,” said Sullivan, “I’m doing exactly what I want to be doing.”
Miranda Gould Contributing Writer
An old, red building stands tall and proud in the heart of New Sharon. It is located right on the corner of Route 2 and Water Street, next to the Sandy River Farm Supply store. Deb Kendall has owned the building for around 23 years. Although the building wasn’t always a thrift store, the three story building has now become an important factor in Kendall’s life. In the 1860’s the building used to be a boot and shoe shop that was powered by the nearby Sandy River with a water wheel. Now, upon entering Kendall’s New Sharon Thrift, you are greeted with the same antique charm that existed in the 1800’s, with original wooden floors, rustic windows, and the fully intact water wheel that once powered the building.
From various furniture items to cookware, jewelry, and other knick-knacks, the store is brimming with both beautifully new and old affordable items.
“I’ve always wanted a thrift store,” said Kendall. She has always enjoyed spending her time thrifting wherever she goes. “I’m on the road a lot…I kind of know the spots now. I’ve always been a thrift store shopper,” said Kendall.
Although the store is located outside of Farmington, Kendall hopes to extend her business to the college community. “I think I have a lot of really good stuff here,” said Kendall, “Something for everyone.” She has three giant rooms filled with copious amounts of affordable furniture and other household items that would be perfect for college students moving in to, or living in, college apartments around town. She gets quite a few regulars, and sees people of all ages enter her store, but thus far has yet for someone to not be excited about something she has to offer.
Kendall’s favorite items to pick up and sell are lamps and mirrors. Although mirrors are cheap to make, new ones are expensive to buy, and for half the quality. Kendall takes pride in picking up beautifully crafted mirrors that she can sell for an affordable price.
(Photo courtesy of New Sharon Thrift Facebook page)
Another popular item in her store right now are miniature stools. “A lot of people like to buy them to put their plants on. Plants are really popular right now,” said Kendall.
Kendall likes to keep her items vintage, including shutters she has displayed on her front porch. “I don’t like to mess with anything too much…such as these shutters, if I were to paint them, then I would have to sell them for more,” said Kendall, “I like to sell things affordably and let people get creative on their own.”
As styles fade in and out, each item serves different purposes to different people at different times. “When people ask me what something is, I like to tell them it’s whatever you want it to be!”
As of right now the New Sharon Thrift is only open on Saturdays, for Kendall feels her life is too busy at this point in time to religiously keep it open every day. In the future, she hopes to solely focus on her store and be open more days a week. “Sometimes if I’m doing something in the store I’ll open up for a couple hours,” said Kendall. If someone can’t catch the store open at a good time, she is reachable through messaging on her Facebook page, New Sharon Thrift, where she is more than willing to accommodate those who would like to check out her store on 4 Water Street in New Sharon on their own time.
Kendall is willing to extend the offer to anyone who would like to stop by her store, if they mention having read this article, that they are qualified to receive five dollars off any purchase at New Sharon Thrift.