Perfect fit

Jenny Pianucci works on communication skills with student Bruno Correia.

She’s not sure why, but Jenny Pianucci has wanted to be an occupational therapist ever since she was a student at Voorhees High School in Glen Gardner, NJ. “Some of my family members needed OT,” she recalls, “and I just thought it was a good fit with my personality. I wanted to help people figure out their lives.”

Pianucci, who lives in Glen Gardner, recently received her MS in occupational therapy from Boston University. She has spent the last four summers as a teaching assistant in the Matheny School, and she will begin an OT internship at Matheny on September 24.

Pianucci originally learned about Matheny from Paula Benson, retired director of social services, during a conversation after church. And the teaching assistant experience has dovetailed nicely with her long-term career goal. “So much of what happens in the classroom,” she says, “has to do with adaptive devices.”

She’s enjoyed “getting to know the kids” at Matheny, and has been impressed with “how much they can accomplish and how the staff creates so many opportunities for them.” Pianucci has floated among several classes, “so I’ve gotten to know everybody a little.” She is closest to the students she had in 2009, her first summer, and has enjoyed seeing them grow up, pointing to one student who was 16 when she first met him, but “who’s counting the days now to graduation.”

Pianucci is looking forward to the OT internship – “I’m excited to finally be doing what I’ve gone to school for.”