Since she was a teenager, rising High Point University senior Natalie Page knew what she wanted a career where she could impact the lives of children. The psychology major says she knew this was what she wanted to do after a Child Life Specialist helped her family when her younger brother was being treated at John’s Hopkins Children’s Center. Now, that dream is coming true.
This summer, the Edgewater, Md. native is working as a practicum student at the Anne Arundel Medical Center. She’s working with Child Life Specialists to make life as normal and enjoyable as possible for children who are being treated at the center.
“When my brother was in the hospital, the child life specialist was not only a big part of his experience but mine as well,” says Page. “She helped me understand what my brother would be going through and provided me with comfort. From that day on, I knew I wanted to minimize the fear and anxiety of a hospitalization or illness for families like the CCLS (Certified Child Life Specialist) had done for my family.”
Page says her Child Development courses at HPU gave her the knowledge she needed for the practicum, and she got extra support from her advisor Dr. Kirsten Li-Barber, assistant professor of psychology.
“She helped me get in touch with the resources to become enrolled in an academic internship, and helped me prepare for the practicum interview,” says Page.
The experience is vital to Page’s success, giving her the opportunity get real-world experience and is preparing her for an internship after she graduates; the next step to getting her ideal Child Life Specialist position.