In honor of AmeriCorps Week, we are pleased to provide an update on one of our best AmeriCorps graduates, Chavon Robinson. Chavon served a year with Playworks during the 2012-13 school year at Dr. George Washington Carver Academy of Math and Science. See what she has to say about her most recent endeavors and how Playworks influenced her career.
Where do you work or attend school now?
I work at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as a full-time child life specialist, addressing the needs of children and families through procedural preparation and support, education, sibling interventions, bereavement support, and therapeutic play. I recently began the role of supporting the teen population in the hospital and overseeing teen programming during the day which grants teens the opportunity to socialize among each other in a space dedicated to their unique needs. During the latter portion of my shift, I help address hospital-wide consults, exposing me to various procedures, diagnoses, etc. I’m also a part-time paraprofessional at Parkview Elementary School, assisting teachers in the classroom.
How did Playworks influence you to choose your current position?
Becoming a child life specialist was always my primary goal after graduate school. Playworks, however, allowed me to strengthen my skills in play, which is a child life modality that helps build trust with patients, gives them an outlet to express themselves, and increases their ability to learn. I’d have to say, the impact of play has remained consistent between both positions.
What is something that you learned as an AmeriCorps member that has helped you be successful in your current position?
I’ve learned that service to the community is a lifetime opportunity. Our day-to-day clients in the hospital is comprised of children and families from the Greater Milwaukee area and I continue to see patients that were once my students on the playground. Service truly never ceases and I recognize how critical every interaction can be.
Please share any goals you have for your future.
I plan to continue to build knowledge and clinical skills in working with children with special health care needs as a child life specialist. I would like to increase awareness of the child life profession in the community by way of events and collaboration.