A Social Worker at Heart

BC Doc Wayne

As my internship at Doc Wayne winds to a close, I find myself one step closer to knowing what I want to be when I grow up.

I am in the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and have had the privilege of being a Non-Profit Management Intern at Doc Wayne Youth Services, Inc this summer.  I wanted to explore the non-profit world, to see what area of business best fit my interests and skills.  At Doc Wayne, I have created an On-Boarding Program for new hires, a Style Guide to outline our communications work, been in charge of the social media, and researched a lot about youth development, sport therapy, etc.  And while all of this work has been meaningful, I have come to realize that I think I am more of a “social worker at heart,” as my Doc Wayne supervisor rightly put it.

Before Doc Wayne, I already knew that I loved building relationships with people and would enjoy having a future occupation where most of my day centers around human interaction, versus computer interaction.  I also knew that I have a hard time sitting still, and couldn’t imagine myself sitting at a desk from 9-5 for the rest of my life.  However, I did not know how to fit this knowledge into a career.

Doc Wayne provided me with insight of what my future occupation could be, when I participated in their Chalk Talk® Sport-Based Group Therapy sessionsDoc Wayne fuses sport and therapy to heal and strengthen at risk youth. Chalk Talk® Sport-Based Therapy groups are clinician led groups, which are assembled by age and location, and held weekly. The group I observed was playing soccer, but groups also play flag football, basketball, and participate in indoor rowing. The groups teach principles of do the good®, Doc Wayne’s curriculum, using both didactic and interactive approaches.

It was so much fun playing with the participants and seeing the job of the coaches, who are clinicians.  The coaches were supportive, gave affirmation, and provided a safe space, so the kids could just be kids.  In this moment, I realized that I could see myself being a Doc Wayne coach.  This job is a more “hands on” approach to non-profit work, versus working in an office all day.  I’ve always enjoyed working with kids and have been a tennis and basketball coach before.  And I’ve always believed that sports have a therapeutic nature to them, even before you add Doc Wayne’s curriculum.

Since then, I’ve relied on the past experiences of my supervisor and Doc Wayne coaches, to think about where I want to go in the future.  They have given me advice and told me about sport psychology programs that would allow me to become a Doc Wayne coach.  I am hoping to continue my relationship with Doc Wayne, whether it means helping out with social media, or becoming a coach intern next year.

I am so grateful to have gotten to know the Doc Wayne team this summer.  I believe in their mission.  And I also believe in the people that make up the organization.  I promise to “Be a Game Changer” wherever I end up!

Written by Sarah Ramsey, BC Class of 2018

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Men and Women for Others Through Sports

Sarah R

At Boston College, I have been given many opportunities, both inside and outside of the classroom, that have developed skills I can apply to my internship this summer.

Course of Study: Major in Marketing and Minor in Medical Humanities

Internship Placement: Doc Wayne, a non-profit that fuses sport and therapy to heal and strengthen at-risk youth.  Three programs are offered for kids throughout Boston and the surrounding areas.

  • Chalk Talk® provides sport-based group therapy programs to youth. Clinician-led groups, which are assembled based on age and location, are held weekly over a seven-week period with current sport themes. Chalk Talk® sports include soccer, flag football, basketball, and indoor rowing. The groups teach principles of “do the good®” using both didactic and interactive approaches.
  • Therapeutic Sports Program is similar to an intramural sports league.  There are four seasonal sports (soccer, basketball, flag football, and softball), each in an eight-week season in which youth from residential treatment facilities, group homes, therapeutic day schools, and other alternative schools in Massachusetts participate in friendly league play.
  • The Global Life Empowerment Program helps Doc Wayne participants stretch to a new level of competence and readiness in skills essential to their educational, clinical, vocational, and social functioning.  It gives youth an outlet to do community service, which empowers them, provides additional out of the classroom writing and alternative self-expression opportunities, teaches self-regulation and social skills, and helps them learn to advocate for themselves, their needs, and desires in appropriate ways.

At Doc Wayne, I have been in charge of social media, which ties into a recent class I took, Marketing Principles.  Here I have to not only market the brand, but understand what Doc Wayne’s brand is all about.  A company’s brand is not equivalent to their marketing.  A brand comes before any marketing.  A brand explains the value of an organization, and communicates their attributes and characteristics.  Doc Wayne’s brand is built off of their vision that all youth should have access to high quality mental health care.  Doc Wayne also has 6 core values that help structure the organization: innovative, passionate, inclusive, loving, impactful, and fun.  Every post or interaction has to explain what Doc Wayne is all about, and fall in line their mission statement, vision statement, and core values.

I also am hoping to participate in one of their Chalk Talk® Groups to interact with the kids firsthand.  This part of my job will tie more so into the Intro to Medical Humanities class I took this year.  The overall theme of the course was to gain insight on the struggles that doctors, patients, and caregivers face, in order to have more empathy for them.

One experience from Boston College that has definitely given me an “edge” on my work, is my involvement in the Appalachia Volunteers of Boston College.  I was a participant my freshman year, and then was a Council member on the Outreach Committee, and trip leader my sophomore year.  Appa has not only given me a unique set of skills that allow me to do my marketing well, but it has also given me humility, empathy, and passion to apply to my Doc Wayne internship.

Written by Sarah Ramsey, BC Class of 2018