Miranda Dean: Youth Homes of Mid-America

What has she been doing?
Miranda Dean, a junior Psychology major, has spent spring semester interning at Youth Homes of Mid-America in Johnson, IA.  The mission of this organization is to provide troubled youth and their families a path to independence.  As part of her internship, Miranda supervises the youth by conversing with them, playing games, sharing meals, and organizing off-campus activities such as exploring museums and bowling.

How did the internship help her define her career goals?
While participating in the internship, Miranda was able to narrow her focus for where she wants to go in the future.  Before beginning the experience, she had the broad goal of becoming a clinical child psychologist.  However, now she knows she wants to work in a clinical setting with adolescents who have suffered from trauma or abuse.

What did her supervisor have to say about her work?
Lou Chapman, Campus Supervisor for Youth Homes of Mid-America, commented, “Miranda impressed me with her strong personality. Although she is a very soft spoken person, she commands respect from the clients she has worked around.  Miranda has dealt with crisis situations with the utmost professionalism and is often proactive and overts potential crisis situations before they explode.”

How did she find out about this internship?
Miranda learned of her internship through her academic advisor, Professor Don Evans.  Don helped her to formulate a list of potential sites based on her interest.  Simpson College faculty and staff are great resources for brainstorming internship ideas.

What advice does she have for other student interns?
Miranda shared, “One piece of advice I have for students beginning an internship is to step outside of your comfort zone. Personally, I never would have imagined myself working in a youth home setting because I tend to be very reserved and quiet. However, it has turned out to be one of the best experiences I’ve had during college so far and I have grown tremendously from it.”

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