Last Chance: Family Programs Internship at Military Bases across the USA or abroad

Sondra PicSondra describes her internship with the Navy at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery, Maine during the Summer of 2016.

Sondra J. interned with the Navy during the Summer of 2016.  Sondra said, “I came across this internship by chance. I had to have an internship to graduate and I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life after graduation. When I applied to this program I didn’t know exactly what I was getting myself into, but I really had nothing to lose. Before starting college I had thought of enlisting in the Navy, but ended up taking a different path. Because of the path I had chosen, I had thought that working for the Navy was not an option. I found that I was very, very wrong. I now have a multitude of options open to me, in multiple different US locations, and locations abroad. I have found something I’m passionate for and knowing that I could travel to faraway places, or stay close to home fulfills everything I have imagined I could possibly do with my life. And, on top of this internship being a great experience professionally, I have also met some of the most wonderful people along the way.”

I attend Michigan State University and am majoring in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) with a minor in Sociology and Women and Gender Studies.

During my time at Portsmouth I wanted to spend a majority of my time doing direct care in the classroom because this is where I had the least amount of experience. For the first month I was in various CDC classrooms.  The second month I went over to SAC and was involved in summer camp. For part of the second and third month I rotated between the CDC, SAC, and working with the School Liaison. While I was with the School Liaison, I assisted in the Back to School Bash event. Our Back to School Bash consists of entertainment in the late morning – this year it was a play from a local college theater group. We then transition into a welcome from the base CO and the School Liaison. The main portion of the event started when we handed out backpacks and school supplies. Throughout the afternoon there was also lunch and life size and yard games so the families could mingle with other families. We also had different supports from the base there, such as the clinic, the fitness center, the on base apprentice program, and other resources. There are also those from off base such as Sprint, local libraries, and local clinics and hospitals.

Before this internship I did not have a lot of experience working hands on with youth. My favorite memories from my time would be when I went back to the CDC after being away for a few weeks and having all the children I was with previously become so excited to see me, call my name, and run over to give me a hug. The same happened when I walked into the Youth Center after not being there for a while.  All of the kids ran over to say hi and tell me all about what I had missed.

While I was in the CDC I helped teachers take pictures of the children doing activities to update bulletin boards. While in the infant room I created a display from their water day activity. I also updated a community board.

The big project I did was work on the Back to School Bash. It is the largest event that the School Liaison has for the year. I had a very active role in many areas of the event. The biggest area I worked on was what we decided to call the “Education Zone.” Our Liaison Officer had noticed that parents and children did not always have resources they needed, or knew where to find them, or simply can became overwhelmed. Because of this I worked on creating reference packets for different grade groupings. These were filled with organizational tools, a multiplication chart, grammar tools, science tools, social studies information, and math resources.

This internship taught me that there is a whole world I didn’t know about previously. Before the internship I knew nothing about military CYP, I didn’t even know it existed. So for myself, above and beyond everything I learned and experienced, I learned that there was a way for me to mix working with children and families, working for the Navy, and having the opportunity to travel. All three were things that I wanted to do with my life and I didn’t know there was a way to do all of them together.

Before this internship I looked at my coming senior year and graduation with a bit of apprehension. Being an HDFS major there were so many different ways I could take my degree, which is why I chose it, but it also made things difficult. This internship has made me excited for the future. I now have a rough plan. I do not exactly know what job in CYP I aspire to have one day, but I do know that that is where I want to work. I now have a path I want to be on and a starting point. And being so close to graduation I am very excited to have something that I really love to work towards and be a part of once I graduate.

Summer 2017 internships will be the last chance to intern with the Military Extension Internship Program.  

More information about the Military Extension Internship Program can be found on online at:

This entry was posted in Extra Opportunities, Internship Opportunities. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *