Internship: Americorps
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Keef Davidson

Hometown: Bellefonte, PA
Major: Psychology

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I was offered a full-time internship through the Women's Resource Center of Americorps and subsequently enrolled in LA 495 for credit.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

During my time at the Women's Resource Center of Americorps I worked on several different projects. One project in particular was the Point In Time count, which is a nationwide count of homeless people. I was designated to do the unsheltered count for Bellefonte and parts of State College. This means that I walked around and went to local businesses to try to find unsheltered homeless people. I did this twice, once in the fall and once just last month where I encountered several individuals. I also coordinate our hotline volunteers, coordinate volunteer events, co-facilitate support groups, counsel over the phone and in person, and I have been working on providing supportive services to Beaver Heights, a low-income housing development in Bellefonte. A typical day for me means that I am taking a lot of hotline calls, trying to get people to where they need to be, coordinating with my team, and working on anything that came through on the hotline the night before.

How did this experience impact you academically?

It has been a hectic year balancing a full-time internship and course load, but I have noticed a real connection with what I learn in the classroom to what I apply at the Center. I think the most helpful courses for my internship were my social psychology courses and a well-being psychology course. I really enjoy learning about aggression and how that can play a role in how someone acts and the processes of thought behind that, and I have been able to gain a first-hand look at this through the position.

"I have noticed a real connection with what I learn in the classroom to what I apply at the Center."

What are your career goals or plans? How did this experience impact them?

I eventually want to become a counselor, yet haven't decided what specific field of counseling I want to go into. With the work that I did at the center, I had the opportunity to merge multiple types of counseling in one session, giving me the opportunity to learn about a variety of fields. When I was taking a call, or talking to a client, I could be working with them around anything from empowerment counseling to systems advocacy. During a call, I could be giving people referrals or I could be helping them make a plan for safety in a violent incident. This kind of variety was really helpful in preparing me for having to deal with things that are greatly unexpected.

Would you recommend this experience to other liberal arts students?


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