Meaningful Community Services has been collaborating with local colleges to provide internship experiences for college students enrolled in public health majors.  University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has been a great partner over the years! 

Since 2020, Meaningful Community Services has hosted multiple UMBC students in their final semesters.  These trainees have been instrumental in helping us to provide services, virtually and in-person, to community members.  We have also had several UMBC trainees join the team as full-time employees! 

Each of the trainees complete a project throughout their time as a cohort.  The project requires the trainee to interview at least one person from each of the following categories:

  • Kennedy Krieger Institute employees
  • Neurodiversity at Work staff
  • Meaningful Community Services families and community members

Once they complete their interviews, the trainees are required to identify themes from their interviews and reflect on their overall experience with Meaningful Community Services.  Additional information and final presentations each trainee are listed below!

2022 Cohorts

Spring: Heather Hinson, Katherine Mezene, Lauren Stone

Katherine and Lauren supported CORE Foundations during their internships and were able to provide in-person services!  Katherine helped to support a community member that worked at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injuries in Maple Lawn. She also met weekly with community members in our virtual sessions.  Lauren worked hard to provide virtual services to community members in small groups and large groups.  She did a great job finding creative topics for her Daily Professional Developments that kept all of the community members engaged!

Heather supported Project SEARCH on-campus each day of her internship!  She worked hard to build meaningful relationships with the Project SEARCH interns and helped them to grow professionally. We are lucky that Heather and Katherine have joined the Meaningful Community Services team as full-time employees!

Three young women stand in front of a table with a yellow tablecloth.

Summer: C.J. Okafor

C.J. supported CORE Foundations during his internship.  He provided in-person services to support a community member that worked at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injuries in Maple Lawn. C.J. met weekly with community members in our virtual sessions. 

Fall: Natalie Bednarek, Megan Halczuk, Sisuri Senewiratne

Natalie joined us as our first graduate intern from Purdue University Global.  Natalie is a nurse at Kennedy Krieger that has helped to support our Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic.  During her internship, she continued her work at the Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic and was instrumental in completing a literature review to be used in a research study with data from the Covid-19 Vaccine Clinic.  Natalie helped to support the Meaningful Community Services team by leading virtual sessions and connecting with community members.

Megan supported Project SEARCH on-campus each day of her internship!  She worked hard to build meaningful relationships with the Project SEARCH interns and helped them to grow professionally. Megan also lead virtual sessions with the CORE Foundations community members each week.

Sisuri supported CORE Foundations during her internship.  She helped to support a community member that worked at the International Center for Spinal Cord Injuries in Maple Lawn and she met regularly with community members in our virtual sessions.  Sisuri worked to take on additional administrative tasks in her internship that supported the overall programming of Meaningful Community Services.

Megan and Sisuri.

2021 Cohorts

Spring: Mariz Asknder, Anjali Daya, Krismina Kattel, Beyza Murat

Mariz and Krismina helped to support the Project SEARCH interns through virtual services during the semester.  They created engaging Daily Professional Development lessons that focused on employability and life skills.  Mariz and Krismina also helped to support the interns during their remote internship rotations.

Anjali and Beyza supported CORE Foundations through virtual services during the semester.  They worked with community members in employment services and in community development services.  Their virtual services helped to prepare community members to begin receiving in-person services in the summer of 2021.

Four spring 2021 cohorts on a Zoom call.

Summer: Janet Butt, Aisha Chishti

Janet worked with CORE Foundations to help support our community members that were working at Kennedy Krieger Institute.  She did regular check-ins with community members that were at work and helped recently hired community members learn new tasks.

Aisha worked with former Project SEARCH interns in their local communities.  She created a smooth transition for Project SEARCH interns to begin receiving employment services with CORE Foundations.

Two interns stand on either side of a large connect four board.

Fall: Kristen Ellsbury, Brigit O’Neill, Reggie Santiago

Kristen, Brigit, and Reggie all supported CORE Foundations.  Kristen provided in-person services to community members in volunteer locations.  She also helped community members look for additional employment opportunities.

Brigit and Reggie provided virtual support services for CORE Foundations.  They created informative Daily Professional Developments lessons that helped community members to better understand employability and life skills.  Brigit and Reggie also lead Job Club which allowed community members to focus on filling out employment applications and prepping for interviews.

A presentation takes place in a conference room.

2020 Cohorts

Fall: Julie Bai, Sumaiyah Mahmoodi, Vanessa Williams

Julie and Sumaiyah each provided virtual support services to our CORE Foundations community members.  They worked to create meaningful virtual services that were centered on each individual’s person-centered goals. 

Vanessa worked with the Project SEARCH interns through virtual services.  She created engaging Daily Professional Development lessons that the interns looked forward to each week.  We were lucky that Sumaiyah and Vanessa have each joined the Meaningful Community Services team as full-time employees!

A screenshot of a virtual cooking class on Zoom. There are 12 participants in the class.
Are you looking to set-up internship experiences for undergraduate or graduate students at your college or University? Please reach out to Rebecca Colangelo, Colangelo@KennedyKrieger.org, for additional information.