Current Peabody Scholars share their summer experiences.
I spent 6-weeks researching across 9 Portuguese cities while also backpacking entirely on my own. I was tasked with compiling interviews of professionals associated with the drug addicition policy and healthcare spheres, such as university professors, treatment center therapists, and persons with former drug addictions. My research primarily pointed to issues of urban development and systemic racism in explaining the differences between American and Portuguese policies. While I could have possibly completed this project in just one or two cities, I took it upon myself to design an expansive itinerary that allowed me to experience the breadth of Portugal's natural landscapes. The research was incredible, but living out of one backpack and traveling as a solo English-speaking female instilled me with a profound sense of empowerment and confidence. I can now advertise myself as someone who is capable of exhibiting excellent research, cultural empathy, and independent self-care.
I went to Vancouver, BC, to work for 8 weeks with a non-profit called the SA Foundation. SA is a long-term recovery program for women (particularly mothers) who are in recovery for addiction and trauma. I worked alongside employees to research best parenting practices for the population being served (young, low SES, single, aboriginal mothers in trauma and addiction recovery). My capstone project was using this research to create a 100-page comprehensive parenting curriculum directed to the women's specific needs covering topics ranging from parenting styles and discipline to resources and tips for raising a child with ADHD, ODD, ASD, or FAS to strategies to talk to your child about your addiction and recovery. This curriculum has been incorporated into programming at SA Vancouver with plans to expand to locations around the world. I also wrote a 20-page relapse prevention plan for their upcoming holiday, taught a weekly computer class, reorganized the classroom, sorted through donations, and edited current curriculums. I loved my time at SA and was constantly pushed to grow, reflect, and learn. My biggest takeaway was discovering my interest in addiction work--I gained insight into potential future career paths and combined my academic coursework with clinical experience.