Personal perspective enriches fall internship

Psychology major gains insights helping clients with Alzheimer’s

For recent graduate Yifei “Rony” Yin, a psychology major, her fall internship at Alzheimer’s Association has a personal angle.

“I have family members who were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease but didn’t receive good care.” Yin, who graduated in December 2020. “I’ve always wanted to learn how to help them.”

Her virtual internship is giving her that chance. In her role, she conducts outreach to clients and assists them with scheduling care consultations as well as registrations for education programs. She also designs posters that highlight key programs and events each month, manages a client database and sets up virtual meetings or tours of the organization’s services for people in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.

“This internship gives me an opportunity to have direct contact with people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. It also has helped me better understand dementia,” Yin said.

She described one high point: offering guidance to one specific client who responded to her outreach email.

“The client just got diagnosed, so he felt so hopeless. I helped him scheduled a care consultation meeting with our staff so that they can get to know more about his situation and needs. After the care consultation meeting, he emailed me again, thanking me for helping him. He said he feels like he knows what to do next,” she said.

Yin—whose long-term career goal is to become a therapist—is passionate about mental health, health care and clinical psychology. She said the course “Aging and Mental Health” contributed to her interest in working with older adults.

“This internship has reinforced my goal,” she said.

Rony Yin served as a resident advisor last year and currently is a peer tutor (Chinese language).