Reyna Melendez

Major: Child, Adult, and Family Services
Company/Organization: Rosedale Shelter at YSS
Company/Organization website:
Destination: Ames
Timeframe: Spring 2019
Advisor/Coordinator Email:


I was an Emergency Service Specialist at Rosedale Shelter here in Ames. I assisted in full-time supervision of the female and male clients in the shelter, ages 10-17. I was technically an intern, but hired on as part-time staff, so I was able to get paid. I was direct support to children living in the shelter, whether that be through making them dinner, leading group, or taking them to a park for rec time. A typical day can be spent playing UNO, coloring, delegating chores, and of course logging what happened during the shift. It was also part of my job to know each child's background, and diagnoses so I knew how to interact with them and avoid triggers.


I was able to step out of my shell and realize I had a passion for youth and their families going through the system. A boy who was ordered by DHS to come to the shelter had a very hard time adjusting, I worked one on one with him every shift I worked to avoid escalations between himself and his peers. I was told many times by my coworkers that they were grateful he had someone in the shelter that he would listen to and made a connection with.

What advice would you give?

My advice to you is to try something different for your internship and schedule multiple interviews. I always worked with individuals with special needs, I thought about doing my internship at my current job while looking, but last minute decided to go with something I have never done before. I already have a full time job offer to stay at my current internship, and two other companies that are willing to schedule an interview with me based on my experience from my internship.

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