Mike Alvarez became an intern at Project L/EARN as a Psychology major during his junior year at Rutgers College in Rutgers University. A major reason he had chosen to attend the University was its diversity; then, he believed that its diversity had allowed for a richer learning experience. Mike had been interested in Project L/EARN because he felt it would expose him to, “The mechanisms of research and important mental health issues,” which he believed were important in achieving his ultimate goal of completing graduate studies in Clinical Psychology. At the time, he aspired to eventually pursue a career as a Psychotherapist.
Mike described his summer in the program as a roller-coaster ride with its ups and downs. Over the duration of the program, he had increased his confidence levels in his work abilities and had further realized that making mistakes do not have to become negative experiences but rather opportunities to improve. He gives great appreciation to his fellow interns who had provided support in making stressful events more bearable.
As an intern, the main purpose of Mike’s research had been to investigate the correlates of medication use among transitional youth with serious emotional disturbance, an important issue which then, had not been previously examined. Mike’s project is the basis of a proposal which was submitted to the Children’s Mental Health Services Research Conference in the spring of 2006.