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South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice
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Tom Sowers

Liberal Arts Majors: Sociology, Psychology
Hometown: State College, PA

What was the best part of your experience?

During part of my internship, I got the opportunity to mentor kids in the facility. I listened to their life stories, their mistakes and struggles, and what kind of future they are working towards. In connecting my experience to theirs, I feel all the more compelled to seek out a career which fights for disadvantaged communities and people who do not have the privilege I do.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My internship has given me a better sense of what I need to pursue academically in order to play a part in fixing our broken criminal justice system. Hearing the stories and experiences of kids transitioning back to their homes helps me to truly understand where and how our system is flawed. In class I hope to learn where all these shared problems are sourced in our government and in our country.

"My internship has given me a better sense of what I need to pursue academically in order to play a part in fixing our broken criminal justice system."

How will this experience impact your career goals?

My experience has made it all the more necessary to try and create big picture changes within the field of criminal justice. Further, I feel more inspired to get a law degree so that I can dig away at the current damaging structures and systems.

How has the Paterno Fellows Program had an impact on this experience?

The Paterno Fellows Program enabled me to have this opportunity by providing funding for housing. Without the support, I would simply not have been able to make it down to South Carolina this summer.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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