This year we have the opportunity to host three wonderful interns within the NorthStar Program. As students are progressing in their education this is one of the great ways to put theory into practice. NorthStar Coordinator Lynn Kiefer and the kids are the benefactors of these interns. They work with the children and youth within the NorthStar program and see the ways in which St. Francis comes along side kids and their families during a time of loss and grief.
Julia is a graduate student intern from Florida State University. She received her Bachelor of Social Work and Psychology and continued on in the Clinical Social Work master’s program. Julia transitioned to distance learning last spring, which has allowed her to finish her program in Brevard County and led to the opportunity to intern with the NorthStar Program. She has always had a passion for working with children and adolescents, so when it came time to begin looking for field placement opportunities, NorthStar was the perfect fit.
“Working with Lynn as my MSW mentor has been such an invaluable experience. Every day I learn so much from her regarding responding to child grief, leading a program, and being a compassionate and capable social worker. She also manages to make every day of my internship so far, such a fun and positive experience. I feel so grateful that St. Francis Reflections and NorthStar have welcomed me and have such great opportunities for MSW interns.”
Tamique is an MSW intern, currently attending the University of Central Florida. Tamique has been a BSW social worker in the healthcare field for many years and made the decision to further her education to better serve patients. When the opportunity presented itself to complete her internship through St. Francis, she jumped at the chance.
“St. Francis has always been known in the community for its high quality of care and compassion for those they serve. I am excited to learn from Lynn and be a part of the NorthStar team.”
Lara has served as a high school art teacher for over 10 years, and she wanted to intern where she could interact and help kids. When she interviewed Lynn about NorthStar for an FSU article she knew that working with NorthStar would help her learn and grow as a person and as a social worker. Lara started volunteering with Lynn and NorthStar in the summer of 2021. When it came time to find a clinical placement for her internship, she knew that NorthStar would be her ideal placement.
“Lynn is amazing to work for because she is willing to share her experience, provide advice and genuinely cares about her entire team as people, and shows it regularly. Lara said. The positive work environment and camaraderie within the NorthStar team has been a gift, making my internship not only an excellent learning opportunity but also a genuine joy.”
Lynn Kiefer, the NorthStar Coordinator said it best “All three of our interns are going to be amazing MSWs and a great asset to our community. They each embody SFR mission of Uplifting Lives, Uplifting each other and uplifting our community.”
St. Francis Reflections is grateful to work with those who want to make the difference in the lives of kids. We hope that as they graduate and seek a place to work they will take with them our heart and mind for all those we serve. Many times the lessons in life are not taught in the classroom. Through Lynn we believe that Lara, Tamique, and Julia will put into practice illuminating the path for kids who experience loss. That is what shining lights do.