HIGH POINT, N.C., Aug. 15, 2013 – Jessica Peña, a rising junior at High Point University and native of Kennet Square, Pa., is not only helping her own future, but the futures of many troubled children this summer. Peña is interning with the Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services this summer, a secure residential treatment facility for juveniles in Newark, Del.
Peña, a double major in strategic communication and Spanish with a minor in psychology, aids the staff by tending to the psychological and counseling needs of boys and girls who have been adjudicated by the Family Court. Peña assists in group discussions, one-on-one sessions and family meetings.
Peña credits two professors at HPU for preparing her for this experience – Dr. Greggory Hundt, associate professor and chair of psychology, and Dr. Judy Isaksen, assistant professor of communication and women and gender studies.
“Dr. Hundt’s class prepared me for this experience by giving me real insight into the psychological world that has proven helpful in a lot of my interactions,” says Peña. “Also, Dr. Isaksen’s class taught me to see individual situations differently, and this has proven to be really important for me.”
Peña says this internship will introduce her to the experiences she will likely face in her future career.
“I hope to one day be a member of a similar staff, or become a substance-abuse counselor. I want to further my education in counseling psychology and continue from there,” says Peña. “This internship is my first experience into the real-life working field of counseling.”