My name is Meaghan Macdonald, and I am interning with the Laura Foundation this summer. I’m going into my senior year at Denison University with a double major in Psychology and Spanish. I was a Special Olympic swim coach in high school for the Mount Washington Valley Dolphins (Special Olympic swim team that competes at various meets across NH, including the Summer Games at UNH), and I immediately knew that I wanted to pursue a career in working with children and adults living with developmental disabilities. Because I was unsure exactly what I wanted to do with this interest, a Psychology major was a perfect fit. It is a general subject, but each class I have taken relates to the world of disability and it is a great basis for graduate school when I narrow down the specifics of what I would like to do. I studied abroad in Spain last fall, and decided I would continue studying the language, turning it into my second major.
In addition to my classes, I worked with the HOPE for Autism program at Denison during my freshman year of college, and I loved working with individuals with Autism using ABA therapy and practicing various skills. In looking for internships for the summer, I had a hard time finding something that would connect my various interests, I was looking to gain experience in organizational administration, while working with children with disabilities in an active and engaging way. I did not want to sit in a cubicle all summer, and my internship with the Laura Foundation has proved to fulfill all of these interests and more.
I have been with the Foundation since late May, and will continue with them through mid-August. It has been an amazing experience so far and I have been surprised by how many people have approached me wanting to learn more about the program. “When are the kids there?” they ask, “What do you do with them?” Everybody has heard of the Laura Foundation, and they are interested to know what we are up to. My hope in this blog is to answer these
questions. In an attempt to share my experience with those outside of our staff, volunteers, participants, and donors, I have decided to start this blog. The work being done at the center is truly wonderful, and I would like to share the smiles and accomplishments of our days for the remainder of my time with the Foundation. I will be blogging about my experiences in the center in hopes of spreading some of the joy that the other staff and I feel every day from the minute the children run in the door until they pile onto the bus at the end of the day.