Kayla Pomeroy

kayla pomeroy

Kayla Pomeroy

When Purdue University North Central alumna Kayla Pomeroy earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work in May, she wanted to be in a profession where she could contribute to society and hoped to work with children and families.

“I have a passion for children,” she explained.

During her senior year at PNC, Pomeroy pursued an internship with Behavior Specialists of Indiana in Valparaiso. PNC Social Work students are encouraged to take on internships to have hands-on professional experience.

Depending on their individual interests, students may work with the elderly, children, families, persons with disabilities, the homeless or those facing financial challenges.

Pomeroy, like other Social Work students, researched internship opportunities “I found many opportunities to work with children and families in Northwest Indiana,” she noted.

She was thrilled to find Behavior Specialists of Indiana. The agency specializes in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) training. Pomeroy explained that under the supervision of an ABA therapist, she worked with children who have autism and Asperger’s Syndrome who display unwanted behaviors because of their disorders. The ABA therapy helps to change behavior by rewarding good behavior while working oneonone with the child.

She believes that “Every child has a different set of skills or needs that need to be modified. Using ABA therapy, I teach children skill sets that help improve the quality of their lives. During my internship, I was assigned to work one-on-one with four children using therapy techniques developed by the therapist specifically for that child. It was rewarding to see the progress each of my clients have made.”

Pomeroy, of Porter, was the first undergraduate accepted for an internship with Behavior Specialists of Indiana. Generally, internships went to graduate students. Things worked out so well that by the end of her internship, Pomeroy accepted an offer of employment with the organization.

“I learned a lot about working with children with behavior disorders and the problems they face trying to fit in with their peers and in their school setting,” she said. “I hope to apply what I learned about behavior therapy in my work with children and families as a social worker.”

Her concern for children is evident in her outside activities as well. She volunteers at the Duneland YMCA and involved with child-centered programs such as Healthy Kids Day and the Fall Festival.

But she admitted, “During my senior year, I really didn’t have much time for outside activities. My classes and my internship kept me very busy.”

At PNC she was a member of the Social Work Club and the American Sign Language (ASL) Club. After taking four semesters of ASL, she hopes to utilize her ASL skills as a social worker.

As she gets started in her career, Pomeroy is confident that her PNC classes have prepared her well.

“I would recommend the PNC Social Work program to anyone interested in the field,” she said. “The students come to know each other and built relationships together. I also had wonderful relationships with my Social Work professors. They have a lot of enthusiasm for the program. In particular Lori Radke (continuing lecturer of Social Work) inspired me to seek opportunities to work with children. Her passion for her profession as a social worker is truly inspiring. Her classes are very challenging, but I learned so much from her expertise in the field. In addition, my advisor Beth Rudnick was my advocate. She helped guide me through some tough scheduling conflicts and made sure that I took classes that will benefit me in my career.”

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