Thank You, Anabelle

Through a decades-long partnership with Laura Baker Services Association, social work students from St. Olaf College are receiving on-the-job learning experiences. St. Olaf senior, Anabelle Xiong, is the most recent in a long line of students who have completed an internship.

Anabelle is from St. Paul. She comes from a large family with eight siblings and is a first generation college student. Anabelle first heard about St. Olaf from her high school teachers and visited campus as part of TRIO, a college readiness program. Not long after that, Annabelle was an Ole.

Anabelle’s internship at LBSA included a wide variety of experiences. She spent time with clients at LBSA’s community homes. Playing games, having informal conversations, taking clients to the store or helping prepare snacks. She also helped support the person-centered goal planning which is central to LBSA’s mission. This involved helping Qs (LBSA behavior analysts) write curriculum specifically relating to healthy online relationships and safety. Anabelle created a helpful visual decision chart summarizing health department and CDC guidance on testing and follow up when someone develops COVID-19 symptoms or has a known exposure. This chart is now being used at all LBSA houses.

Anabelle had never worked with individuals with developmental disabilities. This was a factor in her decision to intern at LBSA so she could challenge herself.

Anabelle expects to graduate in May and hopes to end up in social work or counseling within the next three to five years. She is a great example of the mutual benefits that are created during internships at LBSA. Students gain experiences beyond what can be achieved in the classroom – and LBSA clients and the organization benefit tremendously from their contributions. Thank you, Anabelle!