Eggleston’s Summer Internship Program Provides
Hands-on Career Exploration
Through the summer internship program, local high school and college students were able to work as paid interns directly supporting the individuals Eggleston serves. Internships at Eggleston give students the chance to expand their ideas regarding options for pursuing higher education or a career. Here are some testimonials about their experience this year:
Shaniya, 12th grade
Future Educational Field of Study: Robotics Engineering and Human Services
I have been working for Eggleston as a Direct Support Professional at one of the day programs during my school breaks and helped at the residential programs during the school year. I just know that every day I come to work it’s going to be a great day whether we are playing games, doing crafts, or going on outings every day is different. I try hard to connect personally with each of the individuals and get to know what they like. It makes my day to help others have a great day and they always make me laugh.
This has been a great work experience for me and has taught me patience and essential life skills like managing my time and having responsibilities where others depend on me. I hope to use some of the skills I learned at Eggleston in the future. I plan to study robotics engineering to build prosthetics to help people. If I had to give advice to future interns and DSP’s, I would say “It might be scary at first, but you will have a great time. Take your time and have fun.”
Zaire, 11th grade
Future Educational Field of Study: Military or Trade School to study Electronics and Engineering
I was looking for an internship that would allow me to help people and my family recommended I look at Eggleston. What I didn’t expect was how much fun it would be. I got to play games and pool with the individuals, help them with art and activities, and go out outings with them. I also learned a lot of skills like using proper sanitization to keep everyone safe and healthy and how to work with different personalities.
My advice to future interns is “To have an open mind set and think positive. Everyone is really nice you just put your best foot forward. It’s a great work environment.”
Phillips, 12th grade
Future Educational Field of Study: Psychology with a focus in Autism Therapy
This is my second summer interning with Eggleston, and I love it because it gives me real world experiences. It’s not just a starter job, it has real career options. I love bonding with the staff and the individuals, getting to know them and helping them live their lives to the fullest.
This experience had helped me to grow up, branch out, and not take things for granted. It has broadened my horizons, learned more about individuality, and prepared me for college and after college. I would tell future interns and DSP’s to “Treat everyone on the same level. Their disability doesn’t define them. Take the time to really get to know them, not just on the surface. Don’t let your frustrations get to you.”
Lily, 12th grade
Future Educational Field of Study: Undecided
I really enjoy getting to know and helping the staff and individuals, which is why I came back for a second summer. This experience has helped me make connections and imparted priceless knowledge and real-world experiences. Making an impact to actively help others has helped me put aside my own ego. I leave work feeling fulfilled and happy with what I did.
My advice to future interns is “be flexible and don’t have expectations. Every day is different so just go with the flow. Treat each person as an individual and watch how they grow and learn.
Isabella, a junior at James Madison University
During my college breaks, I come home and work as a Direct Support Professional.
My experience at Eggleston is something I feel very deeply about. I have been around for years now volunteering at events and working at various sites. I am beyond grateful for the opportunities provided here, and I am even more grateful for the people I get to work with. While I may be their staff, they are my family, my home, and my heart. They make the good days sweeter and the hard days easier. They have shown me unconditional love, and I try my hardest every day to make it known that I love and care for them just as much. The memories made here are some of the most valuable ones I have, and I am truly thankful for that; this summer especially has been one of the best. My group at Civitan gifted me a calendar planner to “Count down the days until I come home,” and it brought me to tears. I hope they know that I’ve already started the countdown for my return because I am just as sad to leave them, but also so excited for our future. And while this is supposed to be focused on me and my work, I would rather share about the people who are the root of Eggleston. I would like to thank all of the managers, mentors, and fellow DSPs that work so hard to make Eggleston a loving and inviting space; without the foundation provided by those frontline workers, Eggleston would not be as magical. You are appreciated more than you know. Thank you.