Name: Emma Rivera
Internship, Co-op or Research Site: CASA
Expected Graduation Year: 2014
Briefly describe your internship, co-op, research, or service- learning opportunity, including your day-to-day tasks, responsibilities, and assignments.
1. Assist with volunteer screening tasks such as reviewing volunteer
applications, conducting reference checks, and conducting in-person volunteer
2. Attend volunteer training sessions.
3. Observe Child In Need of Assistance (CINA) court proceedings and case meetings in which CASA volunteers are involved.
4. Assist with program evaluation tasks for National CASA Association Standards Self Assessment process.
5. Read CASA cases and proof read court recommendation.
What have you enjoyed the most about your position or organization/company?
What I have enjoyed most has been getting to learn how the process works when a child is taken out of their home and placed in foster care, and how there are organizations like CASA that are there for the child to "hold" their hand literally and mentally to whatever next step that might be.
What have you gained from your experience that you could not have gained from another opportunity?
I gained a lot of insight on what children in need of assistance go through, that the system doesn't always work but if you have advocates like CASA trying to ensure that all the steps are followed that a child might get a safe permanent home, be that it might be with their biological parent or adoptive foster parent. What I would have never of gained I believe from another internship is that volunteers really do matter and people who care go a long way for a child in need. I walked away wanting to do more and learn more how to help and advocate not only for children but to tell people to volunteer to be a CASA volunteer.
What advice would you give to another student who is seeking an internship or similar experience?
I would definitely recommend knowing what it is that you want to learn and come out of the experience with, then vocalizing it to your supervisor for your internship. I was able to tell my supervisor that I wanted to network and pick professionals brains on what they do and their roles in the mental health association. I was able to get personable and ask them if they liked and enjoyed what they did for a living.
How do you see your experience as meaningful? This might involve skills you’ve gained, information you’ve learned, mentors you’ve connected with, or projects you’ve completed.
I feel that this experience is super meaningful because I was able to network with so many different other branches in the Mental Health organization in Frederick involving foster children. I was able to sit down and talk with Healthy Families organization and learn what they do. I was able to talk with social workers and the foster children attorneys and court appointed mediators and hear what role they play in a CINA case (Child In Need of Assistance).
Please provide a short quote about what you liked most about your position / earning internship credit / the internship placement process.
I enjoyed having to share about what I would learn and do on a weekly basic to my professor.