I have always loved working with children, but it wasn’t until recently that I realized that I can combine this passion with my newfound interest in psychology. Last semester, I took my first infant and child development course, which required that I complete an internship in the preschool room of the Bowdoin Children’s Center. I enjoyed my time there immensely, and I became especially interested in the education of children with developmental differences who attended the preschool alongside typically developing children. Interning at Pathways Early Learning Center (PELC) this summer will allow me the opportunity to expand on my interest in developmental psychology and its applications in inclusive education.
PELC provides an environment where kids of all abilities and needs can be supported and challenged, as well as learn empathy and respect for difference. I believe very strongly in these key aspects of PELC’s mission. I think I can learn a great deal from this organization and the children it serves, in part because it connects my belief in empathy and the value of understanding difference with my interest in psychology. Through working with the preschoolers at PELC, I will continue to build upon my understanding of both typical and nontypical child development, as well as gain a greater understanding of the implications of child development in education and child care. PELC would give me valuable insight on my path to a career in psychology, and help me determine whether I want to continue to work in the field of child development in future or whether I want to pursue a different field within the discipline of psychology.
I am deeply passionate about working to ensure that all children have the support they need to succeed from an early age, regardless of differences in development and ability. A summer internship at PELC would allow me to expand and apply my knowledge of child development and to learn more about inclusive preschool education through direct experience in the classroom. Not only would this experience allow me to learn many valuable skills, but exploration of this field would ultimately inform my career goals and give me insight as to whether child development is a discipline I would like to focus on in my study of psychology at Bowdoin and beyond.