Field study is very much a reciprocal relationship--students give their time and energy to the community and receive back invaluable learning experiences. Scroll down to read some reflections from past interns!

"I became incredibly fond of the kids at Haven of Hope. They inspired me, and I loved spending time with them. At the same time, however, I constantly was seeing them suffer. These kids have had very significant traumas in their lives, and are dealing with things most people can't even imagine. Watching this happen, often with very little that I could do to directly help, was incredibly difficult. Nevertheless, I wanted to show up every day to be there for them and to help how I could. I learned from them probably more than they ever learned from me." - intern @ Haven of Hope 

"As simple as this may sound, when you provide services to a community you in return learn about the people who make up this community and yourself. While I am teaching my class at Laurel Street, I am learning about myself. I am constantly learning how to make small adjustments to my demeanor, my tone, and my teaching style based on the reactions from the clients. This can help me in my future career plans, where I hope to be a therapist who can listen and learn to help others make small adjustments to the way they see themselves and their behaviors." - intern @ Laurel St. Center

"I have learned to be more open minded and understanding. I feel like I sort of had some predisposed thoughts about the students that I was going to be working with and I did not know what they would be like or if we would be able to get along but I really enjoyed all of the time that I spent talking to them, hearing their stories, and getting to know them. I feel like I better recognize that just because people take different paths in life, or in school, it does not mean that they're less likely to be successful." - intern @ Santa Cruz County Office of Education

"I have spent so long learning about health coaching and motivational interviewing and that has really prepared me well to serve the participants at Community Connection by providing them resources and ways to reach their wellness goals; it is really clear how beneficial Community Connections are to these people, and I can tell how happy and grateful they are for us to be providing all of these services to them. This internship connects to my career goals because it is giving me hands-on experience with mental health patients which provides me with insight to potential future jobs and fields that I could go into; and I can see what it is like to work for a non-profit. In terms of academics, I think this is giving me more experience and I am learning so much which is better preparing me for graduate school or other internships. I am gaining such valuable skills that I could only learn outside of the classroom." - intern @ Community Connection

"Being a Peer Advisor has taught me the key to helping others is patience, understanding, and empathy. There are so many traits and skills that can be learned and acquired through providing services to the community. It gives you a chance to experience and learn about real-world situations, apply yourself, and enforce community engagement and awareness. Academia doesn't always need to be about the books! I've felt that I've been able to incorporate and observe many of the topics and ideas I've learned in my Psychology courses here at UCSC to my placement as a Peer Advisor. My career goal is to become an MFT or LPCC and the skills I learned and continue to use as a Peer Advisor, patience, understanding, and empathy, are three of many key components to becoming a great therapist." - intern @ Psychology Dept Peer Advising

"I have learned a lot about myself and how I handle stress and unpredictability. I've learned that self care really is a practice that I have to actively engage in in order to effectively help people. I have learned that our community is full of diverse people with unique circumstances. Seeing all of the other volunteers with SPS working so hard has also helped me to see the community in such a great light. I see people as helpers and I see our community as one who cares for one another in a way I haven't before." - intern @ Suicide Prevention Services

"About myself: I've learned that I really want to work within the criminal justice system and help with reforms

About the community: I've learned that violence affects everyone, not just the people directly involved.

What I see differently: I see trauma a lot differently now, especially community and historical trauma. It's important to implement trauma-informed care into everything that we do." - intern @ United Way of Santa Cruz County

"The people that I worked for at the agency were great people, and were glad to have me around to help. After I graduated, and my field study was coming to an end, I was notified of a job opening within the agency. I interviewed and was hired as their new Probation Advocate and Activities Coordinator for high school and junior high youth. The most valuable part of the field study program was the networking that is involved. I wouldn't be doing what I am doing today without the help/experience of the field study program. I'm applying to grad school right now to get my Masters in Social Work, and the internship I had and job I have now are perfect experiences for what I want to do later in life." - intern @ Mountain Community Resources 

"I've learned so many things at field study. Initially I only got involved with an academic outlook, but I think that it's actually helped me become more empathetic and I feel like I've been made into a better person from having gone through the experience. It's also reminded me, from being around kids, that people are essentially good which is hard to remember sometimes. Can't get any better than that!" - intern @ elementary school counseling office

"I think that this experience has really made me face reality. No matter how much someone else tells you the system is corrupt and a failure, is not nearly as powerful as sitting across from people weekly hearing their stories and the paths that got them there in the first place. I would not change anything about my experience." - intern @ Friends Outside