Choosing a career path is no small feat. For Meredith psychology major Alayna Bolyard, ’16, participating in an internship brought her closer to that big decision.
In fact, Alayna’s summer 2015 internship with The Center for Volunteer Caregiving proved so valuable that she decided to volunteer again in the fall, helping the organization roll out a pilot program that provides in-home safety checks for the elderly.
“I was not sure what to expect when I first started the home safety checks, but after each was completed, it was so rewarding to know that these individuals potentially had a safer home and were educated on fall prevention measures. One thing I continued to notice was missing from homes were nightlights in the hallways, which can potentially prevent a fall. I reported back to the Center to let them know about this, and they decided to make it a Christmas gift donation for the care receivers.”
Thanks to Alayna’s work alongside other Center volunteers, the safety checks could become a permanent offering among their slate of services that includes home visits, chores, transportation, and phone calls to older people or disabled adults in need, most of whom live on their own.
“I have always been very interested in working in geriatrics. The older population is often overlooked or mistreated, and I find that very upsetting. My goal is to obtain a career where the main objective is to help make their lives easier.”
The internship also gave Alayna valuable firsthand experience in nonprofit management.
“Even during my first week at the Center, I had learned much more than I thought possible. Working in a nonprofit organization has now become a career path that I am very interested in. I have also learned important skills such as active listening and recording outcomes measures through data entry software.”
After graduating in May, Alayna hopes to work with the geriatric population and is considering pursuing graduate programs in physical or occupational therapy. These goals became clear after her experience with The Center for Volunteer Caregiving.
“My favorite part of my internship was being able to witness the staff’s passion for providing the finest service for both their care receivers and care givers. It was so nice working with people who share my devotion to helping the elderly by providing volunteer services to improve the lives of seniors, caregivers, and adults with disabilities.”
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