Alyson Rogers hopes to become a child life specialist upon graduation. When she's not busy studying, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, and playing intramural sports.
Alyson Rogers advances children's well-being on multiple continents
Alyson Rogers has always enjoyed working with children, specifically troubled youth. When Alyson began her studies at Iowa State University, she planned on becoming an elementary school teacher, but later decided to change her major to child, adult, and family services.
“I first started out in early childhood education, thinking I wanted to pursue a degree [to become] a first grade teacher,” Alyson said. “I found out teaching wasn’t for me, so I met with my adviser and she recommended I tried to pursue this area of study, so I did. I don’t regret a single thing.”
Since pursuing a degree in child, adult and family services, Alyson has found that her true passion is becoming a child life specialist. Child Life Specialists work with children in a variety of settings to ensure they feel more comfortable before surgeries and other medical procedures, acting as emotional support for not only the child but also their family.
Alyson has collected copious amounts of real-life experience to put toward this goal through her internships. She traveled to Cape Town, South Africa this summer, where she worked hands-on with child life specialists through the Child Life Practicum Program with Connect-123, an international internship provider.
“My favorite part of my [internship] experience was learning more about South African culture,” Alyson said. “There were times where language was a barrier but I enjoyed communicating with the children through therapeutic play. This experience helped strengthen not only my career path, but also me as an individual.”
Alyson is an intern at the Hope House in Ottumwa, Iowa, a recovery home for people who have struggled with substance abuse. As the Hope House's first intern, Alyson has molded a curriculum for the children of those in the program, helping them grow and succeed while acting as a constant resource for them.
Alyson has found her internship experiences to be incredibly rewarding, and the relationships she has developed throughout her work incredibly fulfilling. Alyson is most excited to apply everything she’s learned abroad, and here in Iowa, to her future profession of helping others.
“The families and children you work with are the most rewarding part — getting to see them grow and succeed,” Alyson said.