Romanian Internship Adventure — Omar Portillo • Psychology/Jennifer David • Human Relations
“I didn’t choose an internship this summer, I chose an adventure of a lifetime! From the very moment of my arrival to thevery moment of my departure, I was challenged by VIATA to love more, laugh a little harder, trust a little more, show a little more compassion, and build bonds and friendships for a lifetime. But most importantly VIATA challenged me to have a hunger for life.
“VIATA is special place located in the heart of the Straja mountains of Romania. Each week a group of 100-plus kids from different demographics and backgrounds were put to the challenge. VIATA uses adventure education to promote self-confidence and teamwork. They have low and high rope courses as well as rock climbing, artsy party and educational and humorous skits. I’ve seen a complete transformation in these kids. From fearful and shy they became courageous and outgoing individuals. Experiencing that kind of growth in just a span of a week changes the way you view beauty. They are a continuing source of inspiration for me.
“Time after time VIATA showed me that there’s beauty in struggle, exemplified as each kid who was once stunned by fear rose through adversity. I am grateful for the opportunity that the non-for-profit organization, which founded VIATA, New Horizon Foundation, not only for making me a better person but for lighting a fire in my soul and making me feel more alive than I have ever felt!”
“I really wanted an internship experience tailored to my interests, and the staff were all so accommodating and understanding. They made sure I got everything I wanted out of my internship and time in Romania.
“I decided to take on the role as one of the facilitators during the very first International IMPACT youth exchange, which took place in Straja. This experience was designed to provide youth with the chance to have meaningful dialogue and interactions with youth from other countries, ethnic groups and cultures through an international youth exchange. This was followed by local community service-learning projects on issues of diversity and tolerance, and ongoing online interactions. The hope was that these kids could take what they learned from this exchange and engage more fully back home in their communities.
I knew I wanted to be a social worker, but now I have for traveling.”
“As my first time being a facilitator, I learned so much about myself and the type of person I aspire to become — because of these kids and my overall experience in Romania. After witnessing the impact these kids from different countries had on one another, I would like to get involved on an international level — hopefully working for a non profit much like New Horizons in the future. Sometimes, we find ourselves in places we would never expect and leave a piece of our heart behind, because so much of who we are is where we have been.”
Helping Families in Crisis — Monique Booker • Psychology
“I spent the summer interning at Long Island Visitation & Family Services, Inc. I enjoyed my experience with this facility learning about court-ordered visitation with parents — who may sometimes have domestic violence issues, mental illness or issues with substance abuse. I observed supervised court-ordered visits in a therapeutic setting with children and their visiting parent.
I believe the internship gave me a confirmation that I am choosing the right career path for myself.”
“I also spent some time with True North Counseling Group, sitting in on their male and female domestic violence programs/ counseling sessions. I believe the internship gave me a confirmation that I am choosing the right career path. The biggest thing I learned during my experience this summer is that when dealing with families undergoing custody battles it is important to be a neutral party and always act in the best interest of the child.”
Advancements in the Hospital — Michael Colefield • Health Administration
“I had the privilege of working at Southside Hospital as an administration intern in the engineering department. I worked on a program called SmartWALK that helped to digitize the engineering department’s assets.
“It was a great experience because it was the beginning of shifting the department from paper to digital. What made the internship rewarding was the chance to work on a project that is important in advancing the department.”
A New Vision — Gabrielle Petagna • Psychology
“This summer, I was given the opportunity to work as a talent management intern at ClearVision Optical in Hauppauge. Some of my responsibilities included screening resumes, conducting phone interviews and coordinating events in the workplace to foster a positive atmosphere.”
Discovering Long Island (and Cuba) — Samantha Tassone • Hospitality and Tourism Management
“This summer, I completed a public relations internship at Discover Long Island and I helped plan events within the tourism and hospitality industry. I also visited Cuba on a cruise for the first time, and it was an amazing eye-opening experience.
“It made me appreciate how many privileges we take for granted here in America.”
Pursuits of Justice — Renee Lorenz • Psychology
“My favorite part of my internship this summer at Southampton Justice Court was being able to work next to my supervisors with clients who experienced domestic violence, and who were asking for requests before court, such as an order of protection.
“I learned a great deal of information, such as the variations of domestic violence in terms of harassment, stalking, assault and others that I did not know about before.”
A Real Classroom Experience — Rebeca Ramirez • Mathematics Adolescent Education
“This past summer I worked with an organization called Practice Makes Perfect, a full-service summer school operator that partners directly with schools for students in high-need communities.
“I was selected as a teaching fellow, one of 1,200 applicants to be exact. This job gave me the experience of a lifetime. I was literally a real teacher for the summer. I was assigned a sixth grade class out in Far Rockaway and I taught Rates and Ratios.
I would go home with marker stains on my hands, chalk on my pants and random stickers on my shirt, but with an indescribable feeling in my heart because I was finally doing what I wanted to do in life.”
“I got to go in a few days before the classes started to decorate my classroom, I was in touch with parents, I was lesson planning every week, I created my own tests and quizzes, I was grading on the train ride home and I attended professional development meetings. I cried, I laughed, I got frustrated, I was happy and I would go home with marker stains on my hands, chalk on my pants and random stickers on my shirt, but with an indescribable feeling in my heart because I was finally doing what I wanted to do in life.
“I am so happy that Practice Makes Perfect gave me this opportunity and I can only wait to see what the future holds for me as a teacher”
A Psychology Internship and Job — Courtney Nicholson • Psychology
“This summer, I interned at the Association for Mental Health and Wellness. This was my first actual experience doing any kind of work in the psychology field, and I enjoyed it so much. I got a new job within the psychology field as a part- time counselor at Options for Community Living.
This was my first actual experience doing any kind of work in the psychology field, and I enjoyed it so much.”
“I am extremely happy with the company and the work I am doing.”
Seeking Healthy Counsel — Cheyenne Noud • Psychology
“I spent my summer interning at the Association for Mental Health and Wellness Synergy Center in Riverhead. I spent my time interacting and getting to know members, along with sitting in on many different group sessions – from art to relapse prevention. I had the opportunity to lead multiple groups with a faculty member present. The experience has been amazing. I have enjoyed my time as an intern and realize I will be happy with my future career in counseling some day.”
Experimenting With Texas Lab Work — Kelsie Cohen • Psychology
“This summer, I worked in Dr. Kathryn Cunningham’s laboratory at The University of Texas Medical Branch. Her laboratory is interested specifically on how the serotonin system plays a role in addiction, specifically the cue reactive and impulsive phenotypes that are part of cocaine use disorder.
“One of the many fascinating experiments Dr. Cunningham’s lab has been conducting is how the transcriptome, which is the sum of all total messenger RNA molecules expressed from the genes of an organism, of high cue reactive and low cue reactive rodents differ.
“Understanding the individual differences in cue reactivity could be critical in discovering new regions of the brain and genes in the brain that can be focused on for future treatment strategies.”