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Plans for Next Year

Next year, I plan to attend CSU Northridge.  I will major in education and minor in business.  After one year at CSUN, I am applying to LMU as a transfer student to continue my major and minor.  At CSUN, they have a program for special education in which my internship helps out in.  At PDS, I intern with developmentally disabled adults and I would be able to relate my current work with my education.  I know that I probably won’t be working with disabled adults, but I would be working on my general education in order to get to my more specialized classes. 

 

Skills

I have enhanced many different skills while interning at PDS Marin.  The two main skills that I have improved on are patience and responsibility.  In order to work with developmentally disabled adults, you need to have both of these skills to succeed.

My patience has gotten better because some of the clients I work with are very difficult to understand and work with.  When they try to explain things to me that they don’t understand completely, I have to just sit and listen, and try to absorb and interpret what they are saying.  This could make people very impatient, but this is why my patience has gotten better working with these clients.  Certain clients become upset very quickly, and this is when I have to be patient until they warm up to me and become happier.  Sometimes, this could take days.  But, I just have to wait because I know they will eventually come around and tell me what’s wrong so that I can help them work through it.  All clients are different and deal with issues in their own ways.  I have to learn to have patience with certain clients to keep them happy.

Responsibility is also very important.  I am already a responsible person, but I have increased it by being faithful to the clients and honest to my mentor and supervisors.  I have to remember to call in when I won’t be there to three different people.  I have to be consistent so the clients can earn my trust and be happy that I am coming to see them.  I have to be careful with confidentiality because each client’s personal life is private and they may not want other people to know.  So, as much as I would like to share with other people about my experiences, I have to be responsible and keep confidentiality requests.

 

My Responsibilities for Workplace Learning

My main responsibility for this class is to attend my internship and complete my hours.  Before I started my internship, I had to complete paperwork and I have already done all of that.  In the next two months, I have to set up a meeting with my internship supervisor and the teacher to see how I have been coming along.

Another important part of my grade for this class is my portfolio.  I have completed my resume, personal statement, internship application, and professional agreement with goals.  There are many more components of the portfolio that I need to still get done.  This includes my cover letter, internship summary, letter of reference from my mentor, works sample letters with reflections, self assessment, and mentor assessment.  I will get these components done over the course of the rest of this class, before the portfolio is due.

I have a huge responsibility with my senior job.  I am in charge of fund-raising for SEA-DISC.  One other person and I set up a fundraiser last semester using Equal Exchange.  We had to get other people to participate, and many did, raising a lot of money.  This semester, we are planning a huge yard sale here at drake.  We need to collect items that SEA-DISC students want to sell to help fund raise their share.  This yard sale will take place at the end of March, early April.

Also, every Monday when we come to internship class, we post on our blogs with a topic made by the teacher like today.  These also help our grade for this class when we do them.

 

PDS as a Business

PDS Marin is a non-profit organization in San Anselmo that was founded by Lisa Markey Giraldi; she is my mentor.  It serves to the developmentally disabled adult community and they provide programs and a lot of support for their clients.  All clients have a schedule with the organization in order to become comfortable and feel accepted in the community.  They do these activities with the employees, and I also join a group when I go to internship.  Their assigned employees also help with getting them employed and helping with banking and payments.  Many of the clients are encouraged to live independently if they are able mentally, physically, and financially.  The clients are also helped with bills if they do live on their own.

PDS’s main goal is to encourage acceptance of developmentally disabled people in the community, and make the clients feel accepted.  They are definitely doing their job of achieving their goal.

 

PDS Marin

I have been interning at Pacific Diversified Services (PDS) Marin since October.  PDS is a non-profit organization that provides services and supports the inclusion of developmentally disabled adults.

I work with three clients on Wednesday’s and three different clients on Friday’s with my supervisor named David.  I am always with the same clients because each one has a specific schedule they follow in the programs provided.  I am also with David both days even though he is not my mentor.  On Wednesday’s, I meet David and the three clients at their lunch, which is normally at any mall or walking area, like 4th street in San Rafael.  We all eat lunch together and talk about our days.  Then afterwards, I take two of the clients and we walk around while I help them make purchases and such.  I also mentor them with whatever they need help with, like communicating with people in public.  We discuss feelings and any issues that could be worked out.  The two clients I am with are a couple, so I also help with keeping their relationship healthy; it is extremely cute.  On Friday’s, I see three other clients with the same supervisor.  We always have lunch together and then work on computers and photography.  When we don’t go out, we stay in the office and play games and talk.  These clients are very mellow and love to just talk and do small activities in the community.  I love Friday’s because of this, and these clients are always happy to see me.  One of the clients always asks for advice from me and it’s nice to be able to mentor her whenever she needs it.

I don’t see my mentor when I go to internship very much because she has a lot of other things going on while running the organization.  Her name is Lisa and I had already previously known her because she is a next door neighbor and family friend.  I have no problems I face in this internship, and I always look forward to seeing the clients.  I love my internship.

 

My Favorite Experience

Just before Halloween, I went into the PDS office to build a scarecrow with the three clients I am assigned to on Wednesday’s.  There were also three staff members there that day who helped out with the building.  This specific day was my favorite experience at internship because I really got to know the staff on another level.  I got to see the other side of them, not just their work side.  We all worked together, including the clients, to build some scarecrow out of raw materials lying around at the office.  It showed me how a day at the office could be fun and successful at the same time.

I’m not sure why I consider this day my favorite experience because I actually love all the days I go.  There are always new experiences and new things to learn.  There is never a day where I don’t have a good or unsuccessful time.  I suppose it was because of the group of people I was with.  This day at the office was the turning point of my comfort level.  I was finally able to feel part of the staff and I felt like I could join into any conversation with ease and comfort.

The clients were also having a good time and seemed happy, which always feels good in the end.  Sometimes, it is more important to see them having a good time than having a good time myself.  This experience was different from all the others since everyone was having a good time and because everyone became comfortable with each other.

 

Developed Skill from my Internship

I feel like I have improved on my patience skills the most at my internship.  Each client I work with is very different and all have different needs.  Their personalities are all different and it’s sometimes hard to keep up with each client.  It is also hard to keep up with their moods each day since they seem to change every time.  This is when I have to be patient.  My patience level has to be different for each client as well to be sensitive to their feelings and needs on any given day.

Being patient would greatly benefit me in the future.  My dream is to work with developmentally disabled children and/or adults.  I would even like to get my teaching credential in special education.  Any of the jobs I would take on to continue my dream would require a great amount of patience, along with love and care of course.  Patience is always needed to work with children, developmentally disabled or not.  Working with individuals who require special needs would also take a good amount of patience and that kind patience is always hard to come by.

I was already patient before entering my internship with PDS Marin considering that I had volunteered at other places involving children, including regular babysitting and a 4-year-old brother.  Although, I feel like I have developed another kind of patience while working with these clients on a regular basis.  I have needed to get to know each client and all their differences.  They always change and are completely unpredictable.  They are unique and special and need someone to only be patient with them to learn where they are coming from.