Career Connections

Sarah Kemp

Major: Kinesiology and Health

Minor/option/emphasis: KIN-Community and Public Health

Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Illinois

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Wesley Acres
Company/Organization website:
Title: Wellness Intern
Destination: Des Moines, IA
Timeframe: 01/18/16 - 04/22/16

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
During my internship at Wesley Acres, I have taken on many responsibilities within the wellness department. Wesley Acres offers fitness classes to their residents and employees and I taught different resident classes throughout each week such as aqua fitness, seated strength and stability, and basic range of motion classes. I was also given the opportunity to spend time in the health center, which is a recovery/transitional care unit, where I worked with an activities coordinator. I helped with projects such as arts and crafts and also attended trips that the residents would go on. In the fitness center, I conducted fitness assessments for residents and gave them advice on exercise classes that were appropriate for their skill level. I also took on the responsibility of planning a Talent Showcase for the residents, which I spent the first few months and my internship planning. To stay busy I would also help with the employee newsletters and also helped create life biography books for the residents.

I accomplished...
My biggest accomplishment during my internship experience was the planning and implementation of the Talent Showcase for the residents. This was a project that I spent months planning which involved promoting the event with flyers and reaching out to residents to get them involved and excited. The day of the show, I spent the entire day collecting resident's arts and crafts to display and setting up the theatre for live performances. There were over 100 people in attendance for the show and everyone seemed to have a great time. It was a lot of hard work but it paid off in the end.

My most valuable effort...
The most valuable project that I worked on was creating the resident life biographies. This was an opportunity for me to meet with residents in their apartments and talk with them about their life. This was valuable because it really helped me understand how much some individuals had been through and it gave me an opportunity to learn about their interests and advice for future generations. I have always been passionate about working with the elderly but this really made me realize that I want to work in an assisted living/nursing home setting after I graduate.

I will never forget...
My most memorable experience was when Wesley Acres had local fraternity and sorority members come in for their annual Snow Ball. I helped out with this program and was lucky enough to see how happy it made the residents to interact with college students and how much it lifted their spirits. It made me realize the importance of forming relationships between generations.

Advice for others...
My advice would be to start looking for an internship as soon as possible and do your research. I knew what my interests were and had experience in this type of setting, so I was genuinely excited to go to my internship each and every day. It makes the experience that much more enjoyable and you do get a lot more out of it.

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