Throughout the next few weeks, we want to give the UWBucks Community a chance to meet our six awesome interns! Each Wednesday, we will feature a post by an intern telling you a little bit about themselves and their mission for the summer. This week is Jess Mantione, a graduate student .
My name is Jess Mantione and I am the Success by 6 Community Impact Intern here at the United Way of Bucks County for the summer. I am almost half way through a three year program at Marywood University pursuing a Master’s of Social Work.
I first learned of the internship opportunity with UWBucks through a friend from high school. He currently works for NOVA and knew I had been searching for a field placement for school. He was not sure if this would qualify, but steered me in the direction of the UWBucks website to learn more. Though it was not appropriate for school, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for this summer. I decided to apply.
I was instantly drawn to the opportunity to work with the Success by Campaign 6 as I am very passionate about quality early childhood education. I have previously worked in childcare settings and seen the impact quality early education can have on an individual’s lifelong learning success.
I was also interested in the professional development component of the summer intern program. Even though I am a graduate student and have been in the working world for the past 5 years, I consider this an ever-changing area. I believe I am always a work in progress. This part of the program also excited me because I was hoping I could impart some wisdom on my younger colleagues and let them know what it is like out there when trying to find a job after college graduation.
Over the course of the summer, I have been working on many projects within the Success by 6 Campaign. One of the biggest parts of this is the Pre K Counts Program. This program is designed to promote access to quality pre-kindergarten for children, with priority for those students who are at risk. Children who are at risk include those in poverty, ESL families, and special needs children. UWBucks partners with 4 local childcare centers across Bucks County to promote quality pre-K.
Another big project I have been assisting with is the Born Learning Trail. Currently, Landis Greene in Plumstead Township is home to the only Born Learning Trail in Bucks County, but another trail is in the works. The Born Learning Trail provides an opportunity for parents and caregivers to create learning experiences for young children with 10 outdoor games and signs. The signs offer suggestions like look, learn, laugh, talk, listen, and sing. These signs give creative suggestions to parents and caregivers so they may encourage the youngsters to use their imaginations to play constructively.
The best thing about being a part of UWBucks’ Success by 6 Campaign is getting to work with a group of people who share the same passions and hopes for the future of early childhood education. Outside of Success by 6, it has been a great experience being able to spread the word about what UWBucks does for the community, especially the current fundraising project for Bucks Knocks Out Hunger.
About the Contributor: Katie Pilot is the Marketing Intern at UWBucks for the summer. She is a rising senior at Villanova University with a major in Communications. Due to her passion for social justice, particularly the importance of education, she is excited to help get the word out about UWBucks’ great contributions to the county in hopes to get more people involved