Pathways to Success

Garden Spot High School

Giovanna Poehler – Vocational Services Internship

My name is Giovanna and I am currently a senior at Garden Spot High School. During my senior year, I had a great opportunity to participate in the internship program at Lighthouse Vocational Services in New Holland. Lighthouse is a charitable organization with a mission to provide vocational services for people with developmental disabilities to promote personal growth, opportunity, and hopes for their future. During my time there, I was able to oversee their mission and the passion that each staff member has for each participant. Throughout my internship, I was able to experience the different departments that Lighthouse has and how they all come together.

Throughout my internship, I have traveled through many different departments which include HR, strengthening pathways, production, community participation, and small group employment. My duties included overseeing participants, providing help where needed and actively observing. This might include helping with a certain activity or providing encouragement. However, most of my time spent at Lighthouse was focused on the strengthening pathways department. In this department, participants were able to participate in activities such as music, coloring, production services, baking, and many other activities as well. Some duties that I had were working one on one with a participant and provide constant help or reassurance to maintain focus or productivity. Not only that but also float around to both groups in strengthening pathways which allowed me to work with many participants and create a great relationship with many of them.

Most of the time I would oversee participants and help with certain tasks in production such as folding corner boards, counting Alert All bags, correcting 7-piece Alert All bags, and more. Throughout the day, participants would be given the option of what they would like to work on and then I would check their work and assist if needed whether it be passing out supplies or assist when needed. Due to COVID, cleaning procedures have become stricter and require more attention. As my responsibility, I would help the supervisor clean all the tables before lunch and then pass out napkins and lunches. After lunch is done, all tables would be recleaned as well as at the end of the day. I am currently not working on any projects but instead focusing on building up my work ethic and being able to provide the best support for all the participants. Throughout my time at Lighthouse, I have grown so much with my job responsibilities as well as with the participants. This experience has shown me how much someone is worth and how this facility has such a big impact on the participants and their relationships with their fellow coworkers and staff.

In conclusion, my internship at Lighthouse has taught me so much and I am truly grateful for this opportunity. It shaped me in such a positive way and was very welcoming and created a home-like environment for me as well as anyone else who entered the building regardless of their differences. This has shaped my future goals as it opened a new career path that might be an interest to me as well as opened a new view of the medical field. This internship has shown me that social work creates an overwhelming joy of sensation as you are able to be a positive influence in someone’s life regardless of their differences and their abilities but as well as the relationships that you make with the different people you meet.


jhackman • December 14, 2020

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