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Community & School Collaborative Welcomes New Cohort of School-Based Mental Health Interns

The Community & School Collaborative (CSC), a program of Change Inc., runs a school-based mental health therapist intern program each year. For the 2023-24 school year, we are happy to share we have thirteen wonderful individuals enrolled in the program. Each intern receives a $10,000 stipend paid over 10 months for their time and work, which is funded by the DHS School-Linked Mental Health grant and the Cultural Ethnic Minority Infrastructure grant.

The 13 interns will be a part of the cohort and are each assigned to a metro-area school:

Ruth Amerman (Saint Mary’s University, MFT) - Justice Page Middle School

Gladys Bari (North Central University, MFT) - Northview Middle School

Mikenna Becker (Saint Mary’s University, MFT) - Pillsbury Elementary School

Kalina Chang (University of Minnesota, MSW) - Four Seasons A+ Elementary School

Kelly Dempsy (College of Saint Catherine, BSW) - Edison High School

Maggie Jelinkski (University of Saint Thomas, Counseling Psych)- Marcy Open Elementary School

Fiama Kelleh (Augsburg College, MSW) - Green Central Elementary School

Camryn Kostic (University of Saint Thomas, MFT) - Northeast Middle School

Sasha Krueger (Saint Thomas, MFT) - Waite Park Elementary School

Bailey Loso (Saint Thomas, MSW) - Transition Plus Special Education

Mike Merino (University of Saint Thomas, Counseling Psychology) - Anwatin Middle School

Tiffany Xiong (University of Minnesota, MSW ) - Hmong International Academy

Wennicha Yang (University of Saint Thomas, MFT) - Edison High School

Our interns are graduate-level students pursuing degrees in psychology, counseling, social work, or a related field. They will undergo training and supervision to continue to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to provide effective mental health services to students, under the guidance of Change Inc.’s licensed mental health professionals.

Change Inc.’s interns will collaborate with school counselors, teachers, and administrators to identify students who may be struggling with various emotional and psychological challenges. Through individual or group counseling sessions, our interns can provide a safe and confidential space for students to discuss their concerns, learn coping strategies, and develop emotional resilience.

The presence of mental health interns in schools also helps to bridge the gap between the growing need for mental health support among students and the limited resources available in many schools. As future mental health professionals, our school-based internship provides valuable hands-on experience through interactions with diverse student populations. Here’s to a new school year!

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