News and Notes from The Johnson Center

Summer 2018 Interns

JCCHD | Wed, June 20, 2018 | [Community][Staff Spotlight]

Here at The Johnson Center, we have a long-standing internship program that is a key part of our day-to-day work. We have hosted college students from across the country who have diverse professional interests; we have had students who were studying to become doctors, nurses, teachers, psychologists, counselors, dietitians, child life specialists, non-profit administrators, occupational therapists, speech therapists, research scientists, and much more. Over 160 students have committed their time, talent, and passion to learn about and improve the services that we offer to our community. In turn, they gain insight and perspective on those we serve and learn all about the challenges and rewards that come from working in such a diverse, complex, and engaging community.

Internships at The Johnson Center are a hands-on experience; interns have been involved in research studies, community events, development of clinical and community programs, assisted in clinical care, and much more.

Our Summer 2018 Intern Class is already hard at work on several important projects, including the development of new resource and social programs, translating resources for Spanish-speaking families, coordinating programs that continue to identify unmet needs in our community as well as provide volunteer opportunities, and much more.

Meet the Summer 2018 Johnson Center Intern Class:

Sreeja Atherkode is from India and has a bachelor’s degree with a teaching certification in biology. She worked as a science teacher in India and Dubai before moving to the US. She has a Masters in Special Education (Mild /Moderate Disabilities & Diversities Program) and completed the coursework toward BCBA certification from UT Austin. Her keen interest in the autism field developed due to personal and professional experiences and has entrenched itself and distilled to clinical practice and the research of autism in depth. She hopes that gaining expertise in this crucial field will help her make a difference in the lives of countless children. Today, as humans stand at the cusp of breakthrough research in various therapeutic techniques in different fields, she is excited to be a part of the journey.

Jordyn Jensen is a rising junior at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is studying Special Populations and American Sign Language. She ultimately plans to become an Occupational Therapist. She has previously worked with children with special needs in a variety of settings and she chose to be a summer intern at The Johnson Center because she was seeking to gain experience in a non-profit clinic setting.  Jordyn is excited for the opportunity to plan children’s activities for summer workshops at The Johnson Center and she is eager to participate in other programs that will help individuals with autism and their families.                               

Prageet Kaang is a dentist from India, who is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences at University of Texas at Austin. She has a Master’s in Public Health from Texas A&M University. Her research interests include nutrition and autism, oral health, food assistance programs, diet quality in low-income populations, trace elements, obesity, diabetes and cancer. She has previously worked as a dental lecturer, and currently teaches some undergraduate classes at UT. She is very passionate about community research, especially research involving children and women. In her free time, she likes to volunteer, read books, and watch documentaries.
prageet hs 2

Kyler Moore is a rising senior at the University of Texas at Austin where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Science and Arts in Biochemistry and a BDP certificate in Social Inequality, Health and Policy. Her future plan is to attend medical school to become a physician. Her summer internship priorities are focused on The Johnson Center’s outreach program, Home Cooked Friday’s. With her work in that program, Kyler is getting the opportunity to explore her interests in socioeconomic disparities and public health while gaining experience serving the local community.
kyler hs

Obie Okafor is from Houston, Texas and she is currently a rising senior at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is pursuing a major in Biology with a minor in African & African Diaspora Studies, as well as a certificate in Social Inequality, Health and Policy. Her goal in the near future is to go to medical school and become a doctor, more importantly one that treats and advocates for individuals from under-served communities. As a summer intern at The Johnson Center, she is working on a number of projects, including spearheading an effort to gather recipes and create a Cook Book that will be uses as a fundraiser.  Obie says she feels lucky for the opportunity to be an intern at The Johnson Center and is enjoying learning about the way non-profits work and is grateful for the chance to do her part to help communities that are often overlooked.
obie hs

Maria Pena is a rising senior at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is a psychology major. Her professional goal is to become a clinical psychologist and diagnose and treat children with ADHD, Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders. Her life goal is to raise awareness of the lack of proper treatment and care currently available for children with special needs in the Dominican Republic, her home country.  Maria chose to be an intern at The Johnson Center because she believes this organization is the perfect example of what is needed in less developed countries like her own. She is learning more about the process of understanding children on the autism spectrum and how best to develop personalized care plans depending on their individual needs. Maria says she is glad to get the chance to see first hand how this organization helps people with autism and related disorders and their families with the emotional and financial challenges of supporting a child who has special needs. Her internship projects include shadowing the clinicians and developing materials that she hopes will help people with autism and their families.
maria hs

Antony Velasquez is a senior biology major at the University of Texas at Austin.  His internship projects include working on the Friday community outreach program, including project planning and working with volunteers. When he’s not working at his internship, he works as an EMT for the Georgetown/Austin area and volunteers at a bike shop. His hobbies include political debate, restoring classic cars, biking, and reading.
tony hs

If you are interested in internship opportunities with The Johnson Center, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 512.732.8400.