MT. VERNON — For college student Lindsay Smith, working as an intern this semester at Angels’ Cove in Mt. Vernon has been a truly rewarding experience.
While the prospect of completing 420 hours of service in one semester seemed daunting at first, the challenge was well worth it in the end, she said.
“I’ve loved working at Angels’ Cove,” Smith said. “I definitely think this is one of the best maternity residential facilities that I’ve ever been a part of. … I’ve learned more here than I would say I have in the classroom.”
Smith is one of 11 students at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale who are donating their time this semester to intern at various Mt. Vernon social service agencies.
The students, who are enrolled in the SIUC School of Social Work, serve as interns to fulfill course requirements and gain valuable real world experience.
Carla Donoho, director of Angels’ Cove, said the program has been extremely beneficial for everyone involved. The interns get to learn on the job while the agencies receive a free source of labor.
“To me, the benefit of having interns is that you have a fresh look at things,” Donoho said. “One thing that we have learned is that change doesn’t happen by groups. Change happens when you have life on life. … It takes investment into a person.”
In addition to Angels’ Cove, other local agencies with SIUC interns this semester include United Methodist Children’s Home, Lutheran Child and Family Services, Cornerstone Family Counseling LLC, Southern 30 Adolescent Center and Mt. Vernon Township High School.
A special meeting was held at Angels’ Cove Tuesday afternoon as a way to show appreciation to this semester’s interns.
Angels’ Cove has two interns this semester — Smith and Lamanda Bean. Both students plan to graduate in May with bachelor’s degrees in social work.