Flint Study Away Internship Spotlight – Apeksha Ramasani 

July 28, 2023 - Shelly DeJong

 Apeksha sits in front of a white, nondescript art installation. Name: Apeksha Ramasani 

Hometown: Rochester, MI 

Year: Graduating in the fall

Major: Psychology Major, Cognitive Science Minor 


What drew you to psychology? 

I switched to psychology recently after realizing a business major wasn’t for me. I love working with people and being around people. And I've always had a passion for helping. I’m interested in child psychology where you can start young and impact their lives. This fall, I’ll be applying to grad schools for Clinical Psychology. 


You're interning at Sylvester Broome Empowerment Village in Flint, Michigan.  Can you tell me what they do there and what your role is? 

They offer year-round programming in academics, athletics, and arts for youth in Flint. They get tutoring, it could be math, robotics, whatever their interests are. During my internship, I’ve been working with a social worker there, Amy. She teaches a social-emotional learning class during the school year for K-8. This summer, she teaches a class called Dear Diary, which is about writing, journaling, and getting younger kids used to talking about how they feel and setting goals for themselves. I’ve seen first-hand how important this is especially since a lot of the kids come from families that have suffered a lot. I work right alongside Amy, and I help with the kids that are having behavioral issues from time to time. At the beginning of the program, we did risk assessments and observations on specific kids who might need a little bit more help. And the kids...I love them. They are so sweet. 


What does that mean to you to kind of be able to invest your time into Flint?  

Prior to this internship, I hadn’t been to Flint too many times. But I've grown to love it. All of the people that I’ve met in Flint have been so kind and accommodating. Especially since they know I'm not from the area, they're very helpful in sharing about their city. I’m happy to be working there. 


Could you share your experience with the Flint Study Away Internship program?  

The Flint Study Away Internship program helps connect you with an internship in Flint, Michigan. You tell them what type of internship you’re looking for, what you want to go in, what types of people you like to work with, and so on. Based on that, they set up interviews for you with a bunch of places. I interviewed at a couple of places but ultimately, I thought that Sylvester Broome was a better fit for me.  

Through the program, you also have the chance to live in Flint, which is a cool chance to immerse yourself. I wanted to spend some time at home this summer, so I ended up commuting which has worked out ok. The program also does a good job of connecting you with other interns in Flint. They set up activities which help you get to know the area.   

I recommend the program; it's helped me learn to work with different people and has helped me gain a better sense of what I want to do with my future. It’s helped confirm that this is what I want to do, which has been a huge weight off my shoulders. 


What has been your favorite part about your internship so far?  

My favorite part has been working one-on-one with the kids who are having behavioral issues.  It's given me the opportunity to kind of get a feel for how it would be like in my future of working with kids. I like being able to see and track the progress that they are making.  

I was told most of the kids have many behavioral issues, but I’ve been surprised how kind and strong they are for the amount they’ve been through.  


How has your psychology education prepared you for this internship?  

My Social Psychology class helped prepare me for working with kids. I also took Adolescent Psychology class which helped me know how brains develop over time. It helps me to be patient with the kids knowing that they might not have the ability to handle something yet.  

The research classes have also helped me structure my writing for my supervisor. 


Do you have any advice for people thinking about the Flint Internship Program?  

First, they should brainstorm and figure out what they want from the internship and set goals for themselves. We had to do that through the program, and I found it very helpful. It gives you things to carry out throughout your time there so that you don't get lost in it.  

Another thing would be to not be scared to ask questions! I think that's helped me a lot to figure out what I want to do. My supervisor Amy is completing a PhD right now and she’s been so helpful with answering my questions and sharing about her experience. 

Finally, I think if they can, I'd recommend staying in Flint during the internship. It'll let them immerse in Flint, and really get to know the people there too.  


Anything else you'd like to add? 

I’d love to give a shoutout to Cathy White, the coordinator for the Flint Study Away program. She has helped me a lot in terms of getting me acclimated and everything. She’s always so cheerful, too! I’d also love to give a shoutout to my supervisor, Amy, and to everyone else working there. They’ve been so welcoming and have helped make me feel comfortable in a new environment. It's a great place for people to get experience if they are looking to go into that field.