The University of Texas at Austin
School of Undergraduate Studies
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Michelle Horsley

Michelle Horsley
International Business, Spanish
BDP Certificate: 
Children & Society
Fall 2012

In summer 2010, as part of her Children & Society BDP certificate, Michelle interned with Community New Start, a non-profit that focuses on reaching out to children in St. John, TX. She developed new curriculum activities for teachers during the school year and conducted a qualitative study exploring the impact of summer camp on children compared to children not attending a summer camp.

“This internship really helped me understand my BDP because I got to see how children interact within their niche.”

How did you find out about this internship?
I found out about Community New Start by word of mouth. I have some friends who volunteer with them and my interest grew as I heard more about the program. CNS is a Christian-based after school program in the St. John’s area of Austin. I was eager to get involved in the Hispanic community and interact with kids, so I got in touch with the director to see if I could help out!

Describe the work you did for Community New Start.
My job at CNS was multifaceted. I did everything from analyzing data to interacting with kids at camp. I organized the office, restructured the inventory system, and played kickball every Saturday in the St. John’s neighborhood. I also performed research on the Hispanic culture and how grades correlate with involvement in the CNS after school program.

How did this experience connect to your BDP?
This internship really helped me understand my BDP because I got to see how children interact within their niche. I familiarized myself with the education system and performance of Hispanic children when compared with other elementary students. I analyzed lots of grades and it was interesting to see how family structure ties into achievement in school and behavioral discipline.

In what ways has this CE shaped your plans for the future?
My experience with CNS shaped my desire for interaction with the Hispanic community in the future. I developed a greater love for the Spanish language and desire to interact with the growing Hispanic population in Austin. I also developed an interest in language acquisition and linguistics through speaking with kids in Spanish and English. I now am investigating my interest in Speech Pathology and am very enthusiastic about the next connecting experience I will complete!