What are your job duties at your internship? What kinds of activities have you been involved in at your agency?
My primary duty is to create interactive lesson plans and lead the groups. I go into Ashland Middle School, Ashland High School, Mapleton Middle School, and Ashland County Community Academy (ACCA). In these schools, I lead the girls’ groups. Throughout the semester, I have led lessons on reproductive biology, protective factors (conditions that reduce the effect of stressful life events), STDs, relationships, and drug and alcohol use. I have also conducted research on the teen pregnancy rates in Ashland County to determine the success of Ashland Parenting Plus’s programs. This research will be used to provide evidence that the agency needs to advocate for a program for our transition youth (18-19 year olds) who are no longer in the program but are still at a high risk for teen pregnancy. I have also worked with the Child Abuse and Neglect Awareness Committee (CAN) to help plan the events for April.
How has Ashland University's Social Work program prepared you for your internship?
One thing that I thought I would rarely use was the information we learned in our research class. However, my biggest project required using skills that I learned in that class (thanks, Dr. Vimont). The program also helped with knowing how to interact with clients and show empathy effectively. I was very nervous when the internship started but quickly realized I was well prepared.
What has been most enjoyable or valuable about your internship experience so far?Interacting with the students is definitely my favorite part. My group sizes vary from 2 students to 10 (as long as everyone shows up). There is never a dull moment with the students, whether they are in a good mood or a bad mood…or both during the same group.