Mira Bagous is a fourth-year Biology major with a minor in Bioethics. Mira volunteers with Charlottesville Area Riding Therapy (CART) through Madison House, and she works for the Arc of the Piedmont as a caregiver for a young girl with disabilities. She also is the Events and Peer Relations Intern for the Peer Health Educators. Mira also has worked as a counselor at Camp Holiday Trails, a local summer camp for children with special medical needs.
How did you first get involved?
When I first got to UVA, I knew I wanted to get out of the "bubble" of the University and engage with the surrounding Charlottesville community. While UVA has a lot to offer in terms of involvements and service, I wanted to make sure that I learned more about the city and was an active, involved resident of Charlottesville. I heard about CART my first year and decided to try it out! From there, I became interested in taking care of children with medical needs or disabilities.
What has been most rewarding?
For me, seeing some of the students over the past three years improve in some of their skills and behaviors has been really rewarding. I love seeing that students at CART are having a positive experience, often are able to improve their skills, and leave the barn feeling accomplished. Besides that, I've also met many amazing people and really enjoyed getting to know them!
How do you plan to be involved in the community in the future?
I will continue to work as a caregiver for a little while, and after that, I hope to stay connected to the community by working in health care, possibly working with children and adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. It's so important that these individuals are able to get good, quality care.
How would you encourage others to get involved?
Check out the Madison House website! There are so many great opportunities and programs that are always seeking new volunteers. Also, working as a caregiver is a great option for college students, during school or as a gap year. There's a huge demand for Direct Support Professionals right now, and you can really make a difference in somebody's day to day life.
What is the greatest class you have taken at UVA?
I really enjoyed RELG 3255: Ethics, Literature, and Religion. We read many books that are now favorites of mine, and professors Geddes and Bouchard are amazing!
What is your favorite UVA tradition?
The Fourth Year 5K! Every year, the Peer Health Educators host the 5K on the morning of the last home football game. It has become a community tradition and supports bystander intervention, as well as a scholarship in the name of Leslie Baltz. I've had such a great time every year, so come out and run or walk it!