Jeanette Kjaerholt Nielsen is an intern at CVI.
My name is Jeanette (pronounced Shea-netta), and I’m from Denmark, Europe. I’m in the United States because I’m enrolled in one semester at Georgia State University. It is hard to explain what I’m in school for, because we don’t have majors back in Denmark and the US doesn’t have, to my knowledge, something similar to my educational pursuit back home, but I’ll try to explain it.
When people in the US ask what I do, I say it is a mix between special education and social work. It is a broad education, where you can do many different things, but it is basically an education for working with people. When I’m done, I can work with all age groups who have some kind of disability, whether it is mental, physical or social. I can also work with children of all ages, but it is not as a teacher. I can work in kindergartens, after-school centers and clubs.
Well, back to my temporary life here in Atlanta. At Georgia State University, I have four different classes. They are Introduction to Philosophy, Introduction to Social Work, Global Social Work and Characteristics and Instructional Strategies for students with disabilities (special education). It is for my Introduction to Social Work class where I have to do an internship at an organization within the social work area and write a paper on this organization.
I looked into different possibilities for this class, and my special education professor had a few. The Center for the Visually Impaired caught my attention because it was a new area for me and it sounded interesting. After contacting CVI, the Director of Client Services and I set up a meeting to see if it would be relevant for both CVI and me. We ended up talking about different services at CVI that would be a good internship placement. After the meeting, I really thought CVI was an interesting organization and I especially found it interesting that CVI is working with all age groups, working with different kinds of visual impairments and providing so many different services.
During my time here, I have attended the Diabetes support group, the BEGIN program, the New View Adult Rehabilitation program and Client Services. My first impression, and the one that is still with me, is that everybody is so nice and helpful at CVI and everywhere I have gotten the feeling that I’m welcome.
I have also learned so much at CVI. I had not worked with people who are visually impaired before, but I have a feeling it will not be the last. To be honest, I first saw this internship as something that I just needed to be done with. With all the other homework and school responsibilities, I didn’t feel like doing this as well. However, after spending time at CVI, I definitely don’t feel this way anymore. I have really enjoyed my time at CVI-I would look forward to my next visit, to whom I might meet and what I might learn. This has opened my eyes to the visually impaired community, and I have actually looked into my possibilities within this area in Denmark.
Now that my internship has come to a close, I really want to thank everybody I have met at CVI, thank you for teaching me about your organization and sharing your life and thank you for making my experience at CVI so positive and rewarding.