Experiential Internship Program for Students with Disabilities at Berkshire South Regional Community Center

Internship opportunities specific to individuals with disabilities, ages 16 to 24

The goal of our experiential internship program is to provide a hands-on learning opportunity in a positive and constructive environment.

One Size Does Not Fit All

Working closely with trained, committed and knowledgeable staff, interns gain experience in areas best matched to their own skills, interests and life goals.

 “The transition from youth to adult – and from home to independence – is difficult for many individuals, and youth with disabilities face even more challenges during this period… Programs that assist youth with disabilities during these transition years… are vital in ensuring their independence. ” – American Association of People with Disabilities and the Rehabilitation Research Training Center in Disability Statics and Demographics at Hunter College.

 Our Intern program allows students to participate as employees-in-training to learn basics of a field through specific focused initiatives. We provide a nurturing, positive environment, including deeper layers of interaction for student participants resulting in effective intern mentoring and instruction techniques. Those who learn differently are able to engage and benefit professionally. We strive to meet their expectations; ensuring interns enjoy the best possible experience specifically aligned with their individual capacities, interests, and schedules.

What Can We Learn?

Internships specifically designed to benefit youth with special needs are offered in the following departments:

  • Facilities & Operations
  • Fitness
  • Membership
  • Sunshine Preschool
  • Aquatics (?)
  • Action Adventures Out of School (?)

Each offers a wealth of opportunities for participating students, including:

Increased knowledge of an area of specific interest such as child care, physical fitness, nonprofit management

  • Exploring potential careers in these fields;
  • Gaining important job and life experience, including how to dress appropriately for work, interact with a supervisor or call in sick
  • Increased self-confidence, self-control and independence
  • A deeper connection to the community

“We have the honor of working with Berkshire South to design opportunities for the people supported in our program. Berkshire South has provided a nurturing, inclusive environment for students to increase their skills as well as build on the skills they possess currently. The internships fit the various students’ interest and talents.”  ~ Sharon Boyd, Director of BFAIR/ARCADIA EMPLOYMENT SERVICES

How Do We Get Started?

In an effort to serve as many students as  possible, Berkshire South is reaching out to organizations and programs serving the needs of this special constituency to actively recruit interns to benefit from our program.

Past interns have come from some of the following organizations.

  • Berkshire County ARC (BCARC)
  • Berkshire Family and Individual Resources (BFAIR)
  • The College Internship Program (CIP)

To inquire about current intern position availability, please contact the Center’s Youth Development Manager (413) 528-2810, Ext. 30 or by email at YIPC@berkshiresouth.org.