It’s me, Annalisa Lascoe. A sucker for adventure and the finer things in life. I’m just an ordinary young adult who is learning and growing from her mistakes and taking each day as it comes.

This past winter/ spring, I had the opportunity to intern as the Program Intern at Children’s Healing Center. I ran the ‘Little Tots University’ program at the center with Deb Winn’s support. Today, I hold a bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development from Western Michigan University. I’ll start my master’s degree in Child Life at Western this summer. In addition to my work at the center, I am also a behavioral technician at Total Spectrum and a Love Your Melon volunteer.

In October of 2020, I started volunteering at the Center, and my internship began at the end of December. I had a great time there and will treasure the memories I created. Ask my mother if you don’t believe me. Every day after I left the Center, I would call her and tell her about my day. From the sound of my voice, she could tell I was having a good time there. I don’t think there was anything at the Center that I didn’t like.

One of my favorite parts was watching the children and families interact with one another.

There were, however, a few things that I especially enjoyed. One of my favorite parts was watching the children and families interact with one another. It was extremely heartwarming to see firsthand families enjoying their time in a clean and fun environment. Having said that, I enjoyed working with the ‘Little Tots Program.’ When I saw the children’s growth from the beginning to the end of my internship, I knew I was making a difference. As an intern at the Center, I enjoyed spending time with both the families and the staff. Being a company’s ‘newbie’ particularly as a ‘intern’ can be stressful and difficult at times. The staff at the Center embraced and treated me as one of their own, which means a lot to me.

During my time as the Program Intern, I learned a lot about not only children’s lives, but also about myself. I worked in a preschool environment prior to my internship, so I was familiar with how these services were run. I learned to use my imagination to create educational, entertaining, and safe lesson plans for these kids. I also learned how to adapt when things don’t go as expected and how to move on in those circumstances. However, the most important thing I learned was how to read a room. This means that I can now assess the general mood of people in each setting and behave accordingly. As I previously said, I was able to gain insight towards myself. Being the Program Intern instilled trust in me not just in my job but also in my ability to speak with parents about their children.

I learned a lot about not only children’s lives, but also about myself.

I am grateful for the opportunity to work as a Program Intern because it has helped me to advance in my career as a Child Life Specialist. My experience at the Center taught me all about medical trauma and diagnosis, as well as how it can affect a child and their families. I will be able to apply this knowledge along my entire career path.

One of my favorite encounters was with a little girl from the “Little Tots” program. I came to the program dressed as ‘Super Girl’ on Halloween. When I returned the next time, the same little girl approached me and exclaimed, “Your Super girl!” Even though she didn’t know my real name, I was flattered that she remembered me. I will be forever thankful for the possibilities that this program has given me over the past year! I’ll never forget the kids who’ve touched my heart and the smiles of joy they bring into a room! Its unexplainable!

– Annalisa Lascoe