We are pleased to announce the launch of our Mentored Internship Program and our first six interns from USC. The program reflects our commitment to fulfilling our strategic plan’s goal of being a “first-choice” agency for top-tier training in culturally affirming, trauma-informed social work and behavioral health care.

Funded by a Mentored Internship Program from the national organization Advocates for Human Potential, Inc., we recruited an initial group of six interns, all from the University of Southern California. They are Eunice Lee, Alani Romero, Amanda Sanchez, Vivianna Shields, Isabella Sos, and Lihn Vo.

In addition to gaining valuable experience in a social work/behavioral health care setting, the interns have received training in The Village’s recently launched Incredible Years® parenting program. Each intern has discovered new tools and knowledge that they will use to hone their professional skills and further their careers.

Lihn plans to stay in the community health field, focusing on non-profit organizations. “This internship has helped me so much,” she says. “I feel like I’ve really found my passion.” Lihn recently worked virtually with a 7-year-old who was dealing with phobias and severe anxiety. “Working virtually has actually been great,” she says. “He’s been able to overcome most of his fears.”

For Eunice, witnessing the results of The Village’s work with clients has been invaluable. “Seeing the impact on clients in such a short amount of time has been really meaningful for me,” she says.

Amanda expressed her appreciation for The Village’s emphasis on peer and parenting support. “I feel like one of the most unique things about the Village is having peer support specialists and parent partners. Having them makes it easier to connect with the kids. And I also enjoy having a wide array of exposure to different clients.”

Isabella has been impressed with The Village’s strong sense of community. “Everyone is very welcoming and willing to help,” she notes. “They teach and learn from one another. We have great supervision, and I feel like I can talk through anything. Overall, I feel comfortable and supported.”

For Vivianna, who plans to work primarily with children, the internship has been eye-opening. “It’s a whole new skill set for me,” she says.

Vivianna echoes the opinion of all six mentors: “Interning at The Village has really helped me grow and prepare for my career.”