Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Jason Lewis

Jason Lewis ’13 has made the most of his past two summers by interning at the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, working in the department’s juvenile detention centers. His accomplishments include creating a G.E.D. course for youths.

Focused: My major is political science with a focus in American politics. My minor is general education. I aspire to be a teacher someday.

Family feel: The sense of community that Wheaton creates for its students drew me here. Wheaton seems  like a big family. The students are incredibly friendly, not only with each other, but with the faculty and staff as well.

Sources of inspiration: Many of my professors have encouraged me to take part in this program as a means to prep myself for the future. The one person who stands out the most in my mind is nursery school director Marge Werner. She has a way of making everyone get involved; she makes everyone dig deep and reflect on her lessons but the most remarkable thing is that she makes it look so easy.

Creating a second chance: Designing a G.E.D. course is my way to potentially help give many of these youths a second chance at life. Many of them are looked down upon or shunned by society for having been put into jail or juvenile detention facilities. And often they are at the lowest point in their education. In my first summer, I worked solely with two youths. We worked for six hours a day, five days a week. We not only prepared for the G.E.D. but also talked about their future hopes and aspirations. Both of them ended up passing and receiving their G.E.D.’s in the following months.

My second chance: Wheaton has taught me to truly appreciate education. Prior to coming to Wheaton, I found myself getting bored with the whole high school routine way of life. At Wheaton, I gained a new appreciation for what I was learning. New information came to me on a daily basis. It helped me mature as a student. These are things that I attempted to instill in the minds of the young people I taught. I wanted to reinvigorate their thirst for knowledge. I wanted them to feel in awe of everything they saw or touched once again, much like how I was when I entered Wheaton.

Interview by Monica Vendituoli ’15

Photo by Soraya Matos ’14