Internship Post: My Internship’s influence on my future career and life plans

My internship with Upward Bound has helped me somewhat solidify my plans for the future. One of the reasons why I enjoy Upward Bound so much (aside from being an alumna) is because it is an intersection of education, counseling, and social work.
The purpose of Upward Bound is to ensure that predominantly low income students are college ready. Within this, we have to understand that we (staff) have to work with students to cross certain obstacles in order to be career and college ready. Some of these obstacles include but are not limited to: incarcerated parents, learning disabilities, low self-esteem, estranged parents, sacrifices, increased hours at work to help pay bills at home, feeling discouraged by others, and mental illness. I’ve learned that one of the challenges with programs like Upward Bound is that they sometimes involuntarily take on the tasks that should be completed by support staff within the student’s actual school building. This can be frustrating, but our passion for education and the students trumps our complaints any day. I’ve learned that teaching is not for me, but I love to talk to students about college, and I enjoy listening to them and helping them work through their personal circumstances by offering advice and suggestions of separate nonprofits that can best assist them. I have decided that I would like to pursue a dual masters in education (ed policy, urban ed, ed leadership) and social work. Having both degrees will allow me to work in student support services in a range of educational settings. I’m currently exploring the following careers: success coach, school social worker, some form of work with at risk youth, students in transition liaison (foster care, homeless, pregnant teens, re-entry), and program management in educational non profits.

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