Today was my third day interning at the Parent-Child Development Center (PCDC), a program of Community Action, which provides daycare and many other social services to low-income families in Western Massachusetts. The PCDC runs numerous Head Start and Early Head Start centers in the area which serve nearly 1,000 kids who otherwise would not have high-quality daycare and medical care. The PCDC building that I am working in for the summer is located in Northampton, Massachusetts and houses both a daycare and many offices for PCDC employees, managers, and directors.
I was immediately interested in working for the PCDC when I read about it online during my internship hunt because it perfectly aligns with my past experiences working in Head Start daycares and my future academic and career goals of getting my Master’s in early intervention. I also have always wanted to live in Northampton, so it seems the stars aligned on this one.
While I knew I would be working directly under the Manager of Data and Planning, I was unsure of and nervous about exactly what this internship would entail. It turns out I should not have wasted my time worrying! My supervisor (the manager of data and planning) is an amazing woman who spent hours orienting me and asking what I most want to accomplish and experience this summer and ensuring that I would be able to do all of those things. She went above and beyond when she found out that I want to go into early intervention by offering to have me trained to do diagnostic screenings and possibly perform some screenings for their clientele later in the summer. Everyone else I have met in the office has been incredibly welcoming, and many people mentioned that since the cubicle was reserved for “Avital data + planning intern,” everyone thought it was being reserved for a vital intern. We had a good laugh about that.
Work-wise, these first few days have thus far mostly been spent researching all of the regulations that pertain to the PCDC and its services. I’ve also spent a lot of time in my cubicle (which is quite spacious, actually, you can see it in the picture) figuring out how to use the new database that is being rolled out in July and which it seems I will spend lots of time on. Having spent only a few hours in the office so far, it is already apparent what it really means to be passionate about your job and put everything into it no matter how much (or how little, as the case may be) money comes back to you in return, which is incredibly refreshing.
I had high hopes for this summer internship before, and now I can say for sure that I managed to find my dream job and I could not be more grateful. I expect to learn a lot about the administrative side of childcare in addition to learning how to navigate public resources and social services. Should be a great summer!
– Avital Sokolow Silverman ’14