Non-traditional student juggles family, school and an internship

Nelessen_Carla_webCarla Nelessen, from Neenah is a non-traditional Human Services Leadership major in her last semester at UW Oshkosh. I am taking  She has been married for almost 26 years, has four children and is also taking classes at University of Upper Iowa (via Wausau) to obtain a Social Work Certificate after graduating from UWO. Her personal goals are to do things well, with her heart and mind engaged, and believes you are never too old to learn. Follow along as she shares about her internship experience.

My internship is at Outagamie County Volunteers in Offender Services (VIOS). The mission statement of VIOS is: To return to the community law abiding, productive, responsible and self-sufficient people who are better prepared to be successful in family, work and community. This is done through 1-to-1 matches with volunteers, education, rehabilitation programs in the jail, and community service work. This program is a wide-reaching Human Services program and contains many of the facets of which I am passionate. The diversity of this internship is great and works with a population I am interested in expanding my knowledge and hands-on experience.

A couple ways this will happen include working in the community to raise awareness and build the volunteer base for the program. An example of this is the Impact Panel of Victim & Offender of Drunk Driving. I will also assist in a program called Safe Streets Treatment Option Program, SSTOP. This is a volunteer program that allows second- and third-time offenders to have an alternative to jail. I will also work with the Alternative Treatment Coordinator in regard to AODA assessment. I am also considering continuing my education as some point in the future in AODA counseling. The majority of clients at VIOS have struggles with addictions. I will also be learning about the different treatment courts that Outagamie County has. Last semester I finished the Law and Ethics course, which class peaked my interest in law and how people become involved in crime.

I am grateful to learn outside of the classroom in this hands-on experience. I look forward to learning more about VIOS and the needed roll it plays in our community. I am thankful for this internship and think it will be both challenging and rewarding time for me.

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