Monday, September 13, 2010

New Haven? Yes, please!

Hello Peeps! Sorry I've been kinda out of the blog world for a few weeks. Life has been CRAZY! And that's an understatement! I've had so much going on with moving to a new house, working an average of 57 hrs a week, starting school, meeting with advisors, getting everything set for graduation, and so on! However, it has been awesome. Busy and I wanna pull my hair out sometimes, but nonetheless awesome! I have done some fun stuff because if not I would pull my hair out! And some of those fun things would include meeting and getting to know my amazing new roommates, seeing John Mayer live [words cannot express], and having the boy move to Provo! Happy days. However, the point of this blog is to talk about my internship. For my major we have to do a senior capstone and I chose to do an academic internship for the semester.

The place is called New Haven. They have hired me for as long as I can work there. Even though I am getting credit for it, I am an employee and get treated as such. New Haven is a treatment center for at-risk teenage girls. It is located in Spanish Fork and it is such a great place! Crazy sometimes? Yes.'s such an awesome job. New Haven has 3 houses on the campus with about 16 girls per house. I work in the Teresa House so I work with the same girls all the time. All of the houses are named after strong, influential women. (Mother Teresa, Sacajawea, & Eleanor Roosevelt) I work on Tues, Thurs, & Sat from 3-11pm. While on shift you are responsible for the emotional, physical, and mental well-being of the girls. The supervisor will put you over a certain level. You're there with all of the girls, but you're only really responsible for making sure you know where your level girls are. (There are 5 levels and our house has a variety of levels right now.) Since I'm there in the afternoon and evening, I get there when they're done with school and such so we have fun rec activities, service, recreational therapy with the therapist, values activities, pizza & a movie, work out hour, homework hour, etc. Whatever needs to be done that night. I have a lot of fun with the girls (well, most of them) and it sometimes doesn't even feel like a job...more just hanging out with teenagers.

Now, you may be asking how these girls get themselves in there? Most of what these girls have issues with all stems from depression, anxiety, or no self worth and they've pretty much all had a traumatic experience. Those things manifest itself in a variety of ways: eating disorders (over and under eating), self harm (cutting), drug and alcohol abuse, manipulating relationships, OCD, etc. Some of the girls wanted to come, some of them did not, some of them made a deal with their parents, and so on. We have girls that are happy and girls that are angry or sad. They are fighting a battle within their minds constantly every day. I can understand only so much. I can know what they are going through, but I will never know what it's like to have their lives, which I am grateful. It is so rough for them sometimes. Some of the girls will still blow up at times, which is not fun! We had to put a girl in a hold the other day because she was gettin a little crazy. That was not fun. I wanted to cry, she was screaming so loud. But most of the time it's not quite that crazy. Most of the time things are pretty chill. I do get cursed off by one girl every time, at least once, but she's like that with everyone so I don't feel so bad.

New Haven is seriously such an amazing program! Everything about the treatment is so perfectly planned. Usually girls have been to 2-3 treatment centers previous to coming and when they leave, New Haven has an amazing rate of girls not having to go to another treatment center. New Haven is very family oriented and will not take a girl unless the family is willing to move along in the program with her daughter. They have to agree to family therapy through conference calls or skype and have to make the changes necessary at home. I can't even explain everything about the program because I'm still learning stuff and I've been there for 3 weeks. But here is their website.'s awesome.

In short...I LOVE my internship/job! Those girls have already stolen my heart. Some are easier to love than others, but I love them all and know that they all deserve to live life the way it was meant to be happiness. I can't tell you how much my eyes well up when they get so excited I'm there or when they give me hugs or when they just want to cuddle and have me stroke their hair or when I'm saying goodnight and they tell me they love me. No greater feeling. I'm doing something of worth and it fills me with joy.

New Haven or bust!! :)