Maliyah Edmond is a senior Shocker majoring in psychology with a minor in sociology. She is currently working at Jefferson Elementary through an internship at The Pando Initiative.
The Pando Initiative puts dedicated staff inside partner schools (Wichita, Derby and Haysville public schools) to connect with students who are struggling with school and life. The staff in each school helps address both academic and non-academic impediments that prevent student success. They then work to improve attendance, behavior and academic performance.
As a Student Support Advocate Assistant, Edmond is following her dream of working with children by mentoring students and leading 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade Girl Scouts groups. She has also had the opportunity to shadow the school psychologist. "I learned a lot about what it means to be a school psychologist and it has helped me realize that this is something that I would like to do in the future," said Edmond.
Working so closely with children has also helped Edmond better understand and connect with students. "I would say my communication skills with children have become more developed," she stated. "The Pando Initiative really gives me that connection to them."
Being able to get a head start in her career has also given Edmond a boost in confidence. "Having the opportunity to work with children while still taking courses in my career focus is really helpful in creating a confidence in myself as well as in my ability to work with students and feel comfortable doing so," she said.
Edmond advises her peers to take advantage of the internship program at WSU. "I think it's a good way to see if the field you're studying is really what you want to do. I started off feeling really nervous about the whole process, but now I eagerly await graduating in May and am ready to start my career in the field that I know is the best fit for me."