Meet Carly: Child and family development

"During my college experience at WMU, I always felt support and care from my faculty and staff around me."

What song should we listen to while we read this?

Song Title: On Top Of The World 
Artist: Imagine Dragons

  • What is your major and why did you choose it?

    My major is child and family development, and I am minoring in psychology. I chose child and family development because I am passionate about positively changing children’s lives. By learning more about how children and adolescents grow, I can help kids thrive and address challenges that might arise. I have gained greater insight into how children behave, think, learn, and feel. 

  • Do you have a favorite faculty member at WMU?

    My favorite faculty member at WMU is Karen Blaisure. Some courses I have taken with Dr. Blaisure are Intimate Relationships, Human Sexuality, and Family Policy. Dr. Blaisure helped me out of class numerous times and taught me the most in my academic career while helping me grow as a writer. The course intimate relationships helped me confirm I want to be a school counselor and teach the importance of intimate relationships.  

  • What are your career goals?

    My career goals include earning my bachelor's in child and family development. Then, next fall, I will be attending Eastern Michigan University's school counseling M.A. program. Graduate school has been my end goal since I started my freshman year of college, and after graduate study, I see myself as a school counselor who has helped contribute to growth and success. I see myself being confident and comfortable in my career. I need to keep growing my skills and mastering them while developing into a leader. 

  • What did you do during your internship at KYD Networks?
    • Facilitating small group social-emotional learning sessions using the Why Try curriculum. The WhyTry Program is a resilience education curriculum that provides simple, hands-on solutions for dropout prevention, violence prevention, truancy reduction, and increased academic success. WhyTry is used to teach students social and emotional concepts in the form of engaging lessons they can absorb and understand. It is based on Social Emotional Learning and uses different learning methods to engage the students.   

    • Analyzing social-emotional learning assessment data to help identify strengths and areas of growth. 

    • Shadowing coaches learning how to support adults in creating social-emotional learning activities. 

    • Youth mobility mentor: As a youth mobility mentor, we ensure the 2022-23 Youth Mobility Fund opt-in program is successful for 400 youth and families, Kalamazoo Public Schools, Metro, and the city of Kalamazoo. This allows us to provide critical support to the program. Youth who use the youth mobility fund travel from school to an out-of-school time program or from one program to another. The youth mobility fund is an equity strategy for youth who may not be able to participate in out-of-school time programs and the opportunity to do so.  

    • I attend the Loy Norrix High School and the downtown Metro Transit four times a week to talk directly with youth, pass out snacks, and discuss what can be improved to help get the students where they need to go.  As an intern at KYD Network, our mission is to ensure that all Kalamazoo County youth have agency in a high-quality, youth-driven, anti-racist out-of-school time system that is well coordinated and uses resources efficiently. I can perform to the best of my ability through my open communication, empathy, positivity, and flexibility leadership skills. 

  • What is the most important thing you learned during your internship?

    An important idea I have learned in my internship is regarding professionalism while being your authentic self. For example, during my internship, I listened to a presentation regarding professionalism and personality identity, and it compared personal identity to a backpack. We are always taught to stay professional, while to be yourself, you must bring that backpack to work with you. Hearing this presentation changed my mindset and allowed me to be myself and create a more authentic workplace for my team and me.

    But the most important thing I have learned in my internship is through KYD Networks core values.

    Core values

    • Accountability: We make transparent, data-driven decisions.  
    • Anti-Racist: We take deliberate actions to counter any systemic exclusion and inequity.  
    • Appreciation: We appreciate each other and what we bring to the table.  
    • Authenticity: We show up as our authentic selves.  
    • Belief: We believe youth, adults, and families have the answers.  
    • Celebration: We celebrate success and have fun.  
    • Growth Mindset: We create a community of support, based on growth.  
    • High Expectations: We believe in high expectations for all.  
    • Opportunity: We create opportunities for all youth and adults to be change makers.
  • Your best friend is trying to decide where to go to school and asks you about WMU. What do you say?

    If my best friend were to ask me about WMU, I would start with the number of resources provided for students. For example, academic success resources such as the Bronco Study Zone, peer academic success coaching, or wellness resources like counseling services and Uwil, a free teletherapy open 24 hours a day. Diversity and Advocacy Resources are everywhere. For instance, LGBTQ student services and the diversity and inclusion office. WMU offers numerous resources to assist students in developing and achieving academic goals. During my college experience, I always felt support and care from my professors and faculty around me. WMU provides endless opportunities for personal growth.    

    After all, WMU's mission statement is "Western Michigan University is a learner-centered, research university, building intellectual inquiry and discovery into undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs in a way that fosters knowledge and innovation, and transforms wisdom into action. As a public university, WMU provides leadership in teaching, research, learning, and service, and is committed to enhancing the future of our global citizenry."

Child development and services at WMU

The family science and human development: child development (formerly child and family development) and services concentration prepares individuals to work with children, and their families, in a range of care and service settings. This concentration centers on the development of children, birth through school age, and the cultivation of skills, environments, and programs that promote healthy child development and outcomes. Interpersonal relationships and communications; diverse family systems; parent education; family law and policy; and professional ethics and competencies are emphasized. 

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