August 30, 2018
This summer, three third-year WCU students who are Bucks County residents made a difference in their communities as participants in the Foundations Community Partnership (FCP) Summer Youth Corps program. Of the 16 students FCP chose to place, three from WCU were selected — more than from any other college. This paid internship opportunity, which is instituted and funded by FCP, helps shed light on important causes at Bucks County nonprofits.
Included in the 10-week, 400-hour program are academic and training activities supervised by a licensed psychologist, a graduate-level field supervisor, and an associate professor at Bucks County Community College. Interns receive instruction on child abuse reporting requirements, working with special needs children, cultural diversity training, and physical disability sensitivity training. FCP also provides agencies with the thorough human resources documentation necessary for interns to work with client populations immediately. Interns must complete goal setting and journaling exercises, research, a final paper, and an oral presentation.
Leigh Wolfrum, an exercise science major, worked with professionals certified to provide disabled individuals with various therapies on and around horses at Special Equestrians in Warrington. She was even on hand (pictured, center) when FCP Executive Director Ron Bernstein presented Special Equestrians’ Executive Director Denise Quirk with a grant check.
Christopher Yingling, an early grades major, felt a sense of purpose interning at The Conservatory in Doylestown, a non-profit that provides community music instruction and music therapy. “I did everything from board meetings to maintenance and everything in between, but the most interesting and fascinating experience I had was observing the music therapy programs,” he reports. “It was incredible to see how beneficial making music is with people of all abilities. This showed me how even small actions of kindness can make ripples through the surrounding community.”
Amanosi Agbugai, a psychology major, valued her time at Bensalem’s YWCA. “It served as an eye opener to [what] can sometimes be overlooked considering that this area is viewed as an affluent community,” she says. “This experience allowed me to see that there are people out there in need of help that non-profit organizations can provide that some big-name organizations cannot.”
It's a win-win, says FCP’s Bernstein of the 11-year-old initiative.
“We make sure that both the nonprofits and the interns benefit from each other. We strive to select sixteen hard-working college students from Bucks County,” said Bernstein about the competitive selection process. “The Summer Youth Corps is a game-changer for college students looking for meaningful work.”