University of California, Irvine field study interns Jesus Garcia and Madison (Maddie) Abel completed their internship with Breakthrough last Thursday. They began their ten-week internship in early January and supported our program immensely during their time with us. Jesus and Maddie are both seniors majoring in psychology and social behaviors at UCI. Maddie interned at our  In-Session program for middle school students while Jesus interned at our College Bound tutoring program for high school students.

Jesus Garcia (left) pictured with one of our tutors Scott (right)

Similar to most of our students, Jesus is a first generation college student. He transferred to UCI from a community college where he earned three Associate’s degrees. He chose to complete his field study at Breakthrough because he wanted to learn social skills such as communication, leadership, initiation, and teamwork. Over the past several weeks, Jesus worked in conjunction with volunteer coordinator Carolina Pallares to facilitate the tutoring program every Wednesday and Thursday. On his final day, Jesus stated, “I have learned that building rapport with students by sharing about yourself helps create better relationships.” We have no doubts that Jesus’s willingness to learn and grow will lead him to success.

A San Juan Capistrano native, Maddie interned at Breakthrough because she knew she wanted to work with kids in the educational field and thought it would be more personal to work where she grew up. Maddie served during our afterschool In-Session program every Tuesday and Thursday. She said, “I formed connections with many of the students and really did enjoy talking to them and hearing their ideas. They provided me with many laughs and I was always learning something new. I was able to answer many of their questions regarding college and hope they learned from me as much as I learned from them.” Maddie plans to attend graduate school to earn a Master’s degree in school psychology or social work. She is excited about returning to Breakthrough San Juan Capistrano this summer as a teaching fellow.

Thank you Jesus and Maddie for your dedication to our students and programs. We appreciate all of the hard work you both provided and look forward to hearing about and supporting your future endeavors!


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