Psychology interns conduct research for Boys and Girls Club

Psychology interns conduct research for Boys and Girls ClubIn a partnership that gives real-world experience to college undergraduates, six UW-Green Bay students are serving with the Green Bay Area Public Schools Title I program, in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club of Green Bay. It’s the fourth semester the partners are working together.

UW-Green Bay Assistant Professor of Psychology Jenell Holstead is supervising the interns, who work in the schools although the program is run through the Boys and Girls Club. Her area of research is after-school programming. (In photo above are interns Ashley Mader, Kaeley Blaney, Prof. Jenell Holstead, Allison Goecks, and Karrah Watson. Interns not pictured are Ezra Williamson, senior and Mai Kou Lor, junior.)

Holstead said each semester the focus of the research for the interns changes; this semester the focus is project-based learning. They will use their research to create after-school resources for staff members to use.

Ali Goecks, a Psychology major and Education and Math minor, wants to teach abroad and complete her student teaching at a bilingual school in Mexico. Her research focuses on why students don’t do homework and what motivates them to do it at her internship location, Franklin Middle School.

“I really like working in this program,” Goecks said. “Middle school is a crucial age. It’s the age where you see students tip off and get disinterested in school or they go with it and thrive and get excited about it.”

Kaeley Blaney, senior Human Development major and intern at Danz Elementary School, helps students in kindergarten through fifth grade with math, reading and other homework.

“I have always known that I wanted to work with children in some way,” Blaney said. “This experience will really help me in the work field.”

Danz Elementary School and Fort Howard Elementary School both have bilingual students. Kara Watson, senior Human Development major and an intern at Fort Howard Elementary School, rotates amongst the grades. She says some of the students don’t speak English, and the others will translate for her.

“Sometimes the fifth-graders help the younger kids with their homework and they get such pride from being able to help them, it’s so nice to see,” Watson said.

The interns said this is their first opportunity to work with at-risk youth.

It took some getting used to,” Watson said. “I have learned to adapt and meet them where they are.”

— Photos and text by Cheyenne Makinia, student intern, Marketing and University Communication