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AmeriCorps Member of the Month | July 2018

Congratulations to the AmeriCorps Utah Member of the Month – Alexandria Mickelsen!

Alex is currently in the first year of her Master of Social Work program. She is completing her AmeriCorps term of service at Wasatch Mental Health with the BYU FHSS AmeriCorps program. Alex has been serving at Wasatch since the end of April where she is involved with individual and group therapy, working with children, adolescents and adults with challenging mental health issues.

Alex shared this great story this past month. It is an example of the impact she is having at Wasatch. “I have been able to see transformative moments for myself and clients in just the short time I have been at my internship. One of these moments happened during an intake with a child and his mom. The mom was bringing the child in for therapy to help him process a traumatic loss that he experienced to someone close to him only a couple of years before. I received a phone call from the lobby asking me to come out and get my intake because mom was having to restrain her child. I went out there and tried to put him at ease, but he did not want to come into the session, he was refusing, and his mom had to help him. He just mumbled and groaned to everything I said to him (including harmless questions). I sensed a deep sadness in him, and quite a bit of fear. Mom confirmed this when she told me that he was scared to come in because he was afraid to talk about his feelings, afraid of the questions I was going to ask him, and that he’d have to talk about what happened. I then tried to address this fear and assured him he didn’t have to talk about anything if he didn’t want to. He calmed down at this point and said, “deal”. I spent the rest of the intake trying to get to know him better. Although it was an intake I refrained from asking some of the hard questions I knew he was not ready for. By the end of our intake, he had actually began talking about what happened, and brought it up all on his own. He began to tell me what happened, what he saw, how he felt, how he feels now about it…and it was incredible. I thanked him for telling me such hard things and talking about it with me and he just simply said, “I feel better now that I have told you about it.” Then told me and his mom, “I want to come back every week!”. It was incredible for me to see such a drastic change in this child, from not wanting to come into the room and being so fearful…to saying he wanted to come back each week.”

 

Thank you for your service, Alex!

AmeriCorps, also known as the Domestic Peace Corps, engages thousands of Americans nationwide in intensive, results-driven service in areas of education, public safety, health, and the environment. AmeriCorps members serve for up to a year and receive a modest living allowance, training, and an education scholarship to pay for college or pay back student loans.