Kaydem Shaw, a student at Richwoods High School and Woodruff Career and Technical Center, had the opportunity to intern with Unity Point Health’s Childcare Services at Methodist Hospital. Kaydem got to experience childcare firsthand, working alongside experienced childcare professionals. “Working with [the daycare staff], it shows that they like working here,” shared Kaydem.
Kaydem shared that she has learned a great deal about working with children in her two semesters spent interning with Childcare Services. “The biggest thing this internship has helped me [to learn] is patience, especially with little kids. They want to do their own thing and I’ve learned a lot of patience.”
Lee Ann Mowers, manager of Unity Point Health Childcare Services, says that having Kaydem on her team this past year has been a great experience for her whole staff. “It’s just been fun to watch her grow and see her excitement, and see through her eyes, the newness and the learning opportunities she’s had.”
For Mowers, hosting high school interns is a great way to bring young people into the childcare field. “[In] the childcare field, it’s becoming harder and harder to find good, quality teachers, teachers who are vested in children, teachers who want to make a difference in their lives… When this opportunity came up to pull high schoolers in, and let them experience [the work], it gave us the opportunity to show them what it’s all about, and maybe spark their interests.”
Kaydem believes that the value of her internship lies in her renewed commitment to her chosen field. Kaydem hopes to someday become an RN or an EMT, and spending time with the children at Methodist has reinforced her caring spirit. “I would encourage an employer to hire a high school intern because I feel like hard work and dedication pay off in the long run.” Mowers agrees, saying that “it’s an investment into our future, because our high schoolers are our future… you never know what thing, what person, what opportunity, what experience is going to have them say ‘that is what it want to do with my life, that is where I want to go, or I want to be like that person… or this is what I want to study.’”