2017 Tarver Intern: Abby Ritson '18

civic engagement


Majors: Psychology and Special Education

Hometown: Simsbury, CT

Placement: Children’s Home of Poughkeepsie



A brief description of my organization: “The Children's Home is a residential foster care center that serves neglected and abused youth in the Hudson Valley and surrounding communities. Its mission is to provide a ‘safe and nurturing environment that improves lives and empowers at risk children and families’ in the community. The Children's Home has the capability to take in youth who are in need of temporary emergency foster care, and well as residential facilities for youth in need of more long term care. Its goal is to return youth back into the community and to find them an appropriate permanent placement.”

My role at the organization: “I am interning in the Independent Living Skills department, working on creating a Life Skills Curriculum for adolescent youth. I have been working with a house of teenage girls ages 14 to 20, and the highlight of my curriculum has been centered around cooking. Cooking involves a lot of important life skills such as nutrition, budgeting, creating a shopping list and grocery shopping. So far we have made chicken caesar wraps, empanadas, blueberry muffins (with blueberries we picked ourselves!), vegetable pizza, and pasta with zucchini and squash. The curriculum also covers various ‘soft skills,’ such as self-esteem, collaboration and conflict resolution.”

How Tarver is important to my future endeavors:

“My internship at the Children's Home is helping me to understand a population of youth that is often marginalized and forgotten about. When I am an educator I will strive to do whatever I can to make foster children feel supported and help them succeed.”