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Mackenzie Ann Williamson

Central Counties Youth Center
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Mackenzie Ann Williamson

Major: Criminology
Minor: Sociology
Hometown: Jersey Shore, NJ

How did you learn about this opportunity?

I found out about the internship at the Central Counties Youth Center through a very close family friend who also worked there when she was in college. She knew I was very unsure about exactly what I wanted to do once I graduated so with having this experience it really helped me show what I did and not did not want to do within the criminal justice system.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

My experience at the Central Counties Youth center opened my eyes to a whole other side of the criminal justice field that I have never seen before. I was able to work along veteran counselors who have been at the detention center way before I was born. Something like that was very important because when you’re in a room with kids who are not even afraid to beat their mom up you need to be on guard and have your other coworkers back. Something that I was very happy to learn was self-defense tactics that were used to get kids down on the floor and into handcuffs if they tried attacking you or other co-workers/ residents. My experience thus far has been great and I suggest any criminal justice or criminology major to intern there as well.

How did this experience impact you academically?

My internship at the Central Counties Youth Center did not impact me too much academically even though I was taking 18 credits. I think the hardest part for me was the scheduling because my other job required me to work so many hours and it really hindered my availability at the detention center. For some reason I feel like carrying a large course load and then working two jobs kind of pushed me to do better and get better grades because I knew there was only a few hours a week I could study for all the exams I had or homework I had to complete.

My experience at the Central Counties Youth Center gave me experience in more ways than I ever could have imagined.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

My career goal is to become a police officer, possibly even a k-9 officer. I know it will take some time and some strenuous testing, but I feel like it will be something that I would love to do every day. My experience at the Central Counties Youth Center gave me experience in more ways than I ever could have imagined. It showed me some of the most interesting kids in the state who are in the system and it also showed me the system is flawed in many ways especially when it comes to children or even adults who have a mental handicap. I hope with this experience I can use the things I learned at the detention center for my future for when I become a police officer.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would definitely recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students, my experience at the Central Counties Youth Center was fun and also interesting. I feel like other Liberal Arts students would get a lot out of it in an educational stand plus it is one of the very few internships that I have found that pays in the criminal justice field.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.
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