Bronx Community Solutions has been making a number of exciting changes to our internship program. We have long since relied on the help of devoted interns from our very first year of operations, when we had a small team of Americorps volunteers work with us throughout the year in a variety of capacities. We expanded shortly thereafter, adding Social Work Interns who work with us primarily in the clinic for an academic year as part of their educational program toward earning a Masters Degree. High school interns and volunteers have also played a part in keeping BCS running smoothly throughout the years. Having interns has been a great way for the program to be enhanced by encompassing the work of people with a variety of experiences and interests. Interns and volunteers often infuse the project with a new energy that helps permanent staff members stay focused and motivated to do challenging work.
This year, BCS is experimenting with expanding our internship program to include more people from different educational backgrounds and stages. We thought we would highlight those changes below, and future blog posts will illustrate the work that these different groups of interns are doing throughout the year. Stay tuned!
Here is a breakdown of each group of interns, and an overview of the work they will be doing with BCS this year.
BCS continues to host graduate-level interns from Social Work programs in New York City. This year we have three students working with us, two from Columbia University School of Social Work and one from Hunter University's Silberman School of Social Work. This year, each intern is focused on a specific initiative as well as supporting the Social Service Department in general programming. One intern is each assigned to either the Adolescent Diversion Program, the Human Trafficking Intervention Court (AP-8) initiative, and the Mental Health Initiative. Each of them conducts individual counseling sessions and runs groups to clients who have been mandated to social services, and they support the department with case management and compliance efforts. Social Work Interns receive on-site supervision from BCS clinicians. In addition to this, they receive group supervision on a quarterly basis at BCS from different clinicians on a variety of special topics, and they are invited to attend CCI Social Worker meetings when schedules permit. They are each in their final year of school before earning their Masters degree.
John Jay School of Criminal Justice
In an initiative thoughtfully formalized by our Compliance Coordinator, Lovis Nelson-Williams, BCS is hosting a team of five interns from the CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, at the graduate and undergraduate-levels. These students are working primarily in the Intake Department, and their work serves as part of their educational requirements for graduation. Interns from John Jay conduct intake assessments with our clients and serve as classroom monitors to help with the administration and safety of our psychoeducational group programming. Some of these interns specialize in other areas such as Community Service or the Driving While Intoxicated initiative. Their internships at BCS will now include quarterly brown-bag lunches with guests speakers from various arenas of criminal justice expertise and site visits to partner agencies and demonstration projects.
Bronx School of Law, Government and Justice
Under the leadership of Coordinator of Community Engagement and Initiatives, Monica Garcia, BCS has taken on two high school interns from the Bronx School of Law, Government and Justice (LGJ), which is located in close proximity to the courthouse. BCS has partnered with LGJ before for special events such as Law Day. The interns will support BCS with administrative and organizational tasks and special projects with the Community Initiatives department.
An intern from the Midtown Community Court's UpNext program recently joined the BCS team, helping the Community Service Department by serving as an assistant crew supervisor for the next six weeks. The UpNext program provides employment-related support to noncustodial fathers and underemployed and unemployed men seeking assistance with workforce development. The intern's work with BCS is taking the form of a six-week fellowship for which he was selected after having successfully completed the UpNext program.
As we have since 2012, BCS hosts an intern for a 16-month fellowship funded by the Pinkerton Foundation. The current Pinkerton Fellow is an undergraduate student at John Jay. She has been working with us since last summer and will continue through this academic year, focusing on supporting the Intake Department and Adolescent Diversion Program.
A big welcome to all the new faces at BCS, and a big thank you to our interns who have been with us for many months already!