The summer after my first year of college, I visited with some extended family members. Since I love children, I was naturally drawn to playing with the little kids instead of socializing with the adults. While I playing with the little girls, my cousin suggested that I look into the field of Child Life. She started talking about how amazing the Child Life Specialist had been for her daughter when she was in a children’s hospital with a brain tumor. I was so impressed by the influential role that the Child Life Specialist played in my cousin and her daughter’s experience, I was immediately intrigued and began research Child Life. I was so impressed by the role of Child Life in hospitals that I knew this is exactly what I wanted to do with my life. Click here to learn more about my cousin and her daughter.
I loved my school, so I knew that I didn’t want to transfer out. I had already declared as a History Major and I had developed some great friendships. So after a little research, I decided to add a major in Psychology. When creating my class schedule each semester, I have been choosing classes that relate to development and children. I am also reading books related to children in hospitals and helping traumatized children heal and recover. I frequently participate in webinars to learn more about the hospital settings and new ways to help children.
This summer, I am taking my class taught by a CCLS and I am also completing my Child Life Practicum. I do not have very much Child Life Specific experience, so after my practicum I will be volunteering at a variety of summer camps. I will be working at a summer camp for kids with Sickle Cell Disease, another one for kids with cancer and then a third camp for siblings of kids with life threatening illnesses. I am also volunteering at two grief camps.
My long term plan is to complete my internship after graduation as an unaffiliated candidate. After my internship, I plan to apply for a Child Life Fellowship. I have only been able to find 5 Child Life Fellowship Programs in the United States, so it’s going to be very competitive but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Stay tuned as I continue my journey towards becoming a Certified Child Life Specialist.