"My faith interfaces with my work particularly when interacting with my coworkers. I show Jesus to them through example, by being loving and merciful towards them in all I do. The children I work with may be too young to comprehend faith and Christianity but I can still show them Jesus' qualities of love, kindness and patience while dealing with their sometimes frustrating behaviors."
Kaylene worked as a Direct Support Professional at Maryhaven Center of Hope, a residential program for developmentally disabled adolescents. After working in this position for a year, she found her passion for working with developmentally disabled individuals. She then found her current job, working with a younger age group. Kaylene is currently working on her masters in Social Work at Adelphi University.
Kaylene works at a school run by Children and Family Services of New York that is specifically focused on special education and early intervention. The school has children from birth up to 2nd grade who receive therapy services and education specifically catered to each child's developmental needs. The majority of children in the school are developmentally delayed with the exception of a few pre-school classrooms that are integrated with normally developing children, geared toward preparing the early intervention kids to enter successfully into the public school system for Kindergarten. Kaylene works in the Gross Motor Classroom as an aide with a special education teacher, an assistant teacher and 12 children (ages 3-5) who are physically developing appropriately for their age, but have a variety of cognitive/emotional delays, disabilities and family/environment backgrounds that have led to extensive behavioral issues. Kaylene is particularly responsible for managing one child's behaviors. She was placed with him because his behaviors (biting, kicking, eloping, etc.) were deemed dangerous to himself, his peers and the teachers in the classroom. It is Kaylene's responsibility to shadow this child throughout the day in the classroom and help him manage his behaviors in order to keep him and everyone else safe. She is also responsible for assisting the teachers in the classroom throughout the day (for example: If Kaylene's child is in speech therapy, she will help clean the classroom, manage another child's behavior or lead an activity center). Kaylene's final and most important responsibility is making sure that she communicates all concerns, observations and questions to her superior, who is the head teacher in the classroom, regarding her child or any other children that she comes into contact with throughout the day. This is so the teacher can in turn, if necessary, communicate the concerns or observations to the children's families during mandated quarterly meetings.
"Make sure you take advantage of all the opportunities available to you! Messiah provides so many amazing opportunities both inside and outside of the HDFS department. It would be a shame to graduate without taking part in at least some of them. Obtaining an internship, doing a work study, participating in service within the community, studying abroad, and joining a team or club are only a few of the things you can do while at Messiah that will enhance your resume and make you more of an attractive candidate to hire. Not only that, but many of these things can also change and better you as a person if you allow them to. You definitely don't want to miss out, so look around and find what is being offered to you while at Messiah College. You won't regret it!"