Hello! My name is Samantha Menard. I am a senior undergraduate student at Rutgers University, studying Social Work with a minor in Psychology. I have been interning at Youth Empowerment Services (YES) since September 2018 as part of my field placement requirement.
How did you first get involved with YES?
When I was looking up organizations in New Brunswick that worked with the youth population, YES came up. After looking at the YES website, I found myself interested in the variety of programs/services that the agency ran, and contacted Barry about my interest in interning here. The rest was history!
What are some of your duties as an intern?
I had a variety of different duties as a Social Work intern. I tutored students from the C.A.S.T. program in the week, collaborated with my fellow interns to create a psychosocial model for the students we worked with and developed and facilitated lesson plans for Friday workshops. I also assisted Olivia with matching students to tutors based on academic needs and compatibility, and served as the program manager on some Wednesdays!
How has YES impacted you?
My time interning at YES has taught me the importance of listening and building rapport with the students. It takes time to build trust, but simply listening to the kids and expressing an interest in what they share with you helps. You can learn about a student’s hobbies, home life, or academics from having a small conversation!
What is the best piece of advice you can give to the kids at YES?
The best advice I can give to the kids at YES is to always reach out to the tutors/interns at YES for help! Whether you have questions about homework, studying, applying for high school, pursuing a hobby, or making friends, we are always here as a resource! Just as we learn from you, you can learn from us as well, so never hesitate to ask us questions. We enjoy talking and getting to know you.
If you’re not at YES, where would we most likely be able to find you?
From a young age, I have always enjoyed reading books. If I’m not at YES, you can probably find me in a library or bookstore, because I like to read in my free time. I enjoy sitting in a comfy chair and curling up with a good book whenever possible.