Major: Kinesiology and Health
Minor/option/emphasis: KIN-Community and Public Health
Hometown/State: Des Moines, IA
Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Youth Emergency Services & Shelter
Company/Organization website: http://www.yessiowa.org/
Title: Resident Advisor
Destination: Des Moines
Timeframe: January 2016 - May 2016
Advisor/Coordinator Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was responsible for...
My main responsibility was to provide a safe and nurturing environment for the youth and to actively interact with them in a trauma sensitive manner. I work as a leader and role model for the youth and try to elicit positive behaviors. I follow a routine that consists of dinner, group, gym time, study time, snacks, proper hygiene, passing medication, and bed checks that occur every 20 minutes after bedtime. I also fill out different forms of documentation. We complete communication logs, write incident reports when needed, and other logs/reports. I work with a team of Resident Advisor's and utilizing effective communication is very important. We are provided with walkie talkies to allow for communication throughout the building. Effective communication is what helps the shelter run smoothly. Overall, I try my best to be a person of support and hope for each youth that I interact with but also enforce the rules of the shelter to make sure it remains a safe place.
During my time at the shelter, I successfully passed a Medication Manager Class which allows me to safely medication to the youth. I also became a certified Mandatory Reporter.
My most valuable effort...
One of the most valuable projects that I was able to participate in was the Duck Derby that YESS holds each year. The Duck Derby is a fundraiser that is held out at Jordan Creek Town Center that consists of family-friendly activities and entertainment. People are able to buy rubber ducks to "swim" in a race to win $10,000. All proceeds go to better the shelter and the services it provides. I helped promote the event and sell rubber ducks.
The most valuable learning experience I encountered was learning to find appropriate coping skills and stress relievers. Even though this job can be very fun and exciting, it can also be stressful. It is important to find a proper way to deal with. I witnessed a staff have a meltdown and it wasn't very pretty. Instead of coping with the jobs stresses, they let it build up until they snapped. It's important to know your limits and when you need to step back and take a breather.
I will never forget...
The most memorable experience I had at YESS was learning the impact I had on a youth. The youth sat me down and told me how I have helped them grow and change into a person they want to be. They didn't have people who cared about them and knowing that I cared really meant a lot to them. They needed a positive influence and role model to keep them on the right path. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget.
Advice for others...
My advice to you is to have an open mind and to be flexible. This internship is going to push you out of your comfort zone and trying new things. Keeping an open mind will help with adjusting. In this type of career field, every day can be something new and different. Being able to go with the flow and adjust accordingly is important.
I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I learned about the YESS shelter at the People to People Career Fair. They had a very enthusiastic representative who really inspired me to look more into the company.
I landed this assignment by...
I talked with a representative at the Career Fair and submitted an application and cover letter. I was called in for an interview and was offered the internship position. They were looking for someone who would be uplifting and encouraging and they saw that potential in me.
I wanted this experience because...
I wanted to work at YESS because I wanted to explore a new path in my career field. I wanted to be able to help support those who were in a time of need. I have always wanted to change someones life for the better and felt that YESS was the perfect place to do that.