As the 2011 YV summer internship comes to a close, we asked 2 interns to share about what they learned working in our residenial programs this summer.
Kevin Rios spent the summer on our Dogwood Campus:
“My summer with Youth Villages has been amazing! Not only was it a great experience, but I learned so much from my staff, the youth, and other interns. Processing with my residents and helping them grow into mature, responsible, young adults is a very rewarding feeling. At first, I did not know what to expect. In fact, I was a little nervous during the first week. The butterflies quickly disappeared after my staff showed me the ropes. My residents were also welcoming of me. A great way to earn their respect and trust is to interact with them as much as possible. Joining in on their conversations, playing sports, and participating in activities are excellent ways to get them to open up to you. What is also great about this internship is that you are able to counsel kids while you are working on your undergraduate degree. I will miss my residents dearly, seeing the improvements they have made will make leaving them hard. Interning for Youth Villages has helped prepare me for a career in counseling or psychology. I plan on applying again for next summer. I recommend anyone interested in helping troubled youth to do the same, you will not regret it!”
Patrick Allen worked in our Recreational Therapy Department:
“Working at Youth Villages truly informed me of how tolerant you must be to work with at-risk youth as well as working with anyone with Mental Health issues. One piece of advice that I really took to heart during orientation is that I should not take anything the kids do or say personally. Inappropriate comments or any kind of rudeness from the children was faced with stern spontaneity from me. Anything bizarre or odd enough might get them to laugh or puzzle them into silence. Of course you have to use mature discretion with how far your topics go, but this has worked every time I have used it. The kids may get frustrated with your unusual responses, but any initiative they take into thinking about what you tell them is a positive thing and means they’re listening.”
Thank you to all the 2011 Summer Staff for sharing your summer with Youth Villages!