Nashua Community College student, Danielle, recently shared her experience with what it's like to return to school as an adult student. Her account includes her experience interning at the Nashua Children's Home. This content was originally posted on NCC's facebook page. We are extremely pleased to present an excerpt regarding her internship below.
....Beyond the classroom, Danielle’s had hands-on experience through her psychology capstone project as an intern with the Nashua Children's Home, where she served as a companion and mentor for some of the youth there. The internship came out of her summer 2023 capstone class with Professor Jayne Barnes. “I have a great internship with Nashua Children’s home, I was just so impressed by it. From the street it looks so small and unassuming, but it’s this huge house.”
The Nashua Children’s Home began as the “Nashua Protestant Orphanage” back in 1903, and has been in operation ever since. Danielle described the home as split into a space for older girls, younger girls, and younger boys. And another space on Concord Street in Nashua for older boys. “They set it up like a family – the have chores for allowance, they are expected to keep their spaces clean to build that sense of personal responsibility – it’s probably one of the most rewarding things I’ve done besides becoming a mom.”
She said she’s learned a lot from her internships. “They are resilient, they are survivors – I’ve learned more from them then they did from me. As an intern, I couldn’t be alone with them or drive them anywhere, but I was allowed to sit and talk to them, and if they wanted to talk and share how they were feeling. It’s more of a mentorship role. I didn’t try to be a mom figure, but maybe an older sister role. There’s never any judging – I wanted them to feel accepted and be themselves.”
Danielle hopes to continue working with the Nashua Children’s Home after her internship in a per diem role. “It’s very much like a home there. There are psychologists and therapists and family therapists who try to integrate them back into their home, and if that doesn’t work, they help prepare them for when they age out. They are very focused on teaching them life skills. They sit and eat dinner together, they go over their goals – like a family meeting. A chef comes in and cooks for them, and they can cook for themselves. It’s very much like a cozy home.”
Nashua Children’s Home Training & Recreational Coordinator Daniele Ferreira commented on Danielle’s time as an intern. “Danielle was an amazing person to the kids and the staff in her time here; she was very kind, patient, and accepting which is what kids who have experienced trauma need in order to open up and talk about their experiences to heal and overcome their past challenges. Danielle was incredibly dedicated to her role that she established with the kids and the staff despite having her own children at home, her coursework, and life in general…that is certainly no easy task.”
For more of the original article, please visit the NCC facebook page.