3 months, 20 days and 84 hours later, I am pleased to announce the completion of my internship at St. Anne’s Institution in Albany.
When I first started, I felt unsure, doubtful of my capabilities and hesitant to participate in the daily routines. Quickly, I adjusted and felt extremely comfortable working with the adolescent female population. Getting past the initial fear of rejection was probably the most difficult part. Once I began to assert myself and shed the weight of intimidation, the residents naturally gravitated towards me.
The young women I had the privilege to interact with are full of dreams, hope, fear, humor and endurance. Their life readjusted met them with shared dormitories with residence of different backgrounds and history. Initially Seton unit housed 13 residents and by the time I terminated relationships with the girls, we housed 20. The challenge of being even-keeled, therapeutic, preventative and joyful are all valuable qualities I had to work on daily, even moment to moment at times.
This experience allowed me to redefine my perception of rehabilitative services and really get my hands on some intervention solutions and creative ideas for self empowerment. The mission of St. Anne is always to reunite the children with their families if at all possible or teach valuable life tools to live independently. The strength-based model is highly encouraged and used to help the residents realize their personal strengths and innate blessings. Every girl is unique to her situation and by no means a victim, but rather a survivor of her past.
Although the transition for the resident, employee or intern may be difficult, the founding principles of the institution give room for improvement, self realization and helpful advancement. I enjoyed interning at St. Anne so much that towards the end of April, I am going to apply there as a childcare provider. This way, I can take on more responsibility as an employee rather than observing as an intern. I believe my education from Hudson Valley will be an effective influence on this particular population.
From interning, I’ve learned that my duties could incorporate dorm checks, logging activity on the unit, distributing linen and snack, enforcing policy and expectations, working with staff to create a safe learning environment for the residence and more. Since the girls go to school most of the day, the hours typically would run from 1pm-11pm. Senior staff usually gets the first pick of preferred hours where they have a fare share of freedom with scheduling.
I am really excited to be embarking on this journey and stretching myself much more than I already have. I wish you well in your endeavors too!
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