We had the pleasure of speaking with Camila González about her spring Co-Op internship at Purdue University with Cornerstone Autism Center. Here is what Camila shared with our marketing department:
What is your major from Purdue?
Psychological Sciences, with a minor in Human Development and Family Studies, and one in French.
What are the major steps to become a part of this co-op program with Cornerstone?
1. Talking to your advisor to work out a plan
2. Talk about how it would affect your graduation date and future semesters
3. Submit a resume
4. Be interviewed
When was the start date, and when is the end date?
I started in January 2019 and will end in May 2020. It’s three work sessions in total, each a semester long.
What brought you to Cornerstone Autism Center?
I took a class in ABA and really liked it. Then I found out that Cornerstone was one of the options for the Co-Op program and decided to apply because I was very interested in this type of therapy.
Is this a field you hope to find a career path in after college?
It is! I have been accepted to a masters program in ABA, and I’m very excited about pursuing that degree.
What do you like most about this program?
I like that it gave me an opportunity to have hands-on experience on a field I was interested in. Without that, I would not have been as sure as I am now that it is what I want to do in the future.
Please share what you’ve learned and in which ways you’ve grown since starting your internship:
I didn’t know a lot about autism outside of a textbook context. Since I started working at Cornerstone, I’ve learned so much about it and how different it is with every single kid, which was a concept that was hard to grasp before the experience. I’ve grown in the sense that I understand now how big of an effect the smallest actions have on children.
What is a memory that you’ll always have from Cornerstone?
One of the best memories I have from Cornerstone happened over the summer. I had a non-vocal client, and we were doing mand training for verbal approximations and using his speech device. When I had first started with him most of his mands were prompted. However, one day we were walking and he independently asked to run, which took me by surprise. After that, he started manding independently a lot more for run and for pushes on the swing. This memory is very inspiring for me because that was the moment I realized that what we had been working on every single day for the entire session was really working and he was improving every day a little more.
In what ways have you seen Cornerstone’s mission – maximizing those who struggle, embracing those who love and fulfilling those who serve – in action since you’ve become a part of the team?
Even though I haven’t been at Cornerstone for that long, I have seen multiple kids transition to schools, become so much more independent in their daily tasks and also improve their social skills and make friends at Cornerstone. From asking for a push while swinging to learning how to read and write, you can see the kids improving every single day. This is what makes the job worth it and fulfilling for those of us who try our best to help the kids day to day.
What is your long-term dream and how will this experience help you reach that goal?
My long term goal is to be able to help children with developmental disabilities back home, in Ecuador, where there is very little knowledge and help for them. This experience will help me because I am now able to get my masters degree and continue expanding my knowledge and education on this type of therapy.
To apply for a full-time position at Cornerstone, visit our careers tab by clicking below:
March 19, 2020, Morgan McClellan