News

March 28, 2008

Giving Teens the Support They Need

My internship at the Easton Cyber Caf�. By Karlyn Adams ’09

Psychology major Karlyn Adams ’09 (Ford City, Pa.) is an intern at the Easton Weed and Seed Program’s Cyber Caf�. The Cyber Caf� offers teenagers a safe hangout afterschool. The Caf� provides students with homework help, healthy snacks, and access to computer and internet access.

I became interested in interning at the Cyber Caf� after volunteering there in the fall of my junior year. It was one of my favorite volunteer experiences at Lafayette; I just really enjoyed working with older kids. It also appealed to me because had volunteered at a similar afterschool program at my church in my hometown before I came to college. The kids at the Cyber Caf� are from similar backgrounds to those of the kids where I grew up; it made it easier to connect with them. When I volunteered at the Cyber Caf� last semester, I just helped out by playing games with the kids and helping serve snacks when needed.

Now that I’m interning there, I spend more time there and pretty much help with anything that’s being done. I usually help prepare the meal for the night, help serve the food, assist the kids with homework, play games with the kids, and also direct a craft for the evening, such as Valentine’s Day cards. I also sometimes talk to the kids about the problems they’re dealing with and how school and life in general are going for them. Since I started interning at the Cyber Caf�, the program has opened up to include adults in the community in need of meals.

Through my experience, I’m learning a good deal about what everyday life is like for teenagers and families in Easton. The experience is a reality check for any college student; being on campus can make you forget a lot of the difficulties that other people face since you spend so little time around people who are not college students. It also is a reminder of diverse class backgrounds that exist.

This is my first internship at Lafayette, but is not my first service learning experience. I did EXCEL research working with Professor Debbie Byrd in Women’s Studies during the interim period this year. I worked on a daycare center mapping project that was intended to create a daycare center guide for Easton area parents, particularly single and low-income mothers. We collected data on the local daycare centers through surveys and compiled it to create the manual. I also attended meetings with Professor Byrd in the Easton community for the Weed & Seed Health committee in relation to a healthcare resource manual to be used by Easton residents.

Adams has volunteered with Kids in the Community (KIC) and the Third Street Alliance women’s shelter. She is a member of the Association of Lafayette Feminists, QuEST, Lafayette African & Caribbean Students Association, The Journey, Interfaith Council, and the Asian Cultural Association. She serves as the academic co-chair for the Association of Black Collegians. She plans to attend graduate school and obtain a doctorate degree in psychology focusing on education as well as the ways one’s environment affects academic performance. She hopes to teach at the college level. She would also like to organize an afterschool program in her hometown to provide college preparation activities and tutoring to children in that area.

  • Psychology
  • Service Learning

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