Internship Spotlight: Eliot Early Intervention

Current student Olivia Volmar shared the following about being an intern at Eliot Early Intervention…

How did you find this internship?
In my sophomore year, my advisor told me about the field of Early Intervention (EI) in Massachusetts. EI clinicians provide home-based, family-focused therapy services to developmentally delayed children and infants. I already had experience working with neurodivergent populations from past internships, so I thought that exploring EI would expose me to more learning opportunities by working with different clinicians and diverse families. Fast forward to junior year, I started looking for different EI organizations in the greater Boston area. I decided to cold email Eliot EI because it’s conveniently located in Malden and serves Medford, Malden, and Everett families. I met with the senior director and appreciated Eliot EI’s commitment to partnering with families through emphasizing cultural competence, neurodiversity, and multidisciplinary teams.

What did you enjoy most about your internship? 
One of my favorite aspects of my internship was the home and daycare visits with the different toddlers and their families. The heart of EI is fostering opportunities for growth in the toddlers’ development through emphasizing structured play, helping with daily routines, and supporting parents/caregivers. The families were incredibly diverse and came with many different needs, goals, and lifestyles. I learned the importance of maintaining an open-minded, flexible, empathetic, and attentive attitude. I thoroughly enjoyed that in some parts of the day, I spoke in English, and in other parts, I spoke Haitian Creole and Spanish. I loved that EI prioritizes the needs of each individual family and the team’s dedication and care for each family.

What did you find challenging?
Though my supervisor trained me extensively, most of the learning happens through actually experiencing EI. At first, it sometimes felt overwhelming because EI has several moving pieces, including the Department of Public Health (DPH) database, developmental evaluations, intakes, home visits, toddler groups, etc. Thankfully, my supervisor and other clinicians were always willing to answer questions and support me whenever I felt confused.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?
To any future intern in the non-profit or human services field, I encourage you to take advantage of wisdom from the other professionals. A lot of the learning you will gain is through working with the people you serve and learning from those who have been in your shoes. I truly am so grateful for all of the bits of guidance from the incredible clinicians I worked with this summer, so do not be afraid to ask as many questions as you can.

By Sheryl Rosenberg
Sheryl Rosenberg Associate Director