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Seniors Got Talent

Social work student finds value in Morning Pointe Senior Living internship

photo of Sarah Harris, Morning Pointe Senior Living intern

Sarah Harris is a social work student at Cleveland State Community College in Cleveland, Tennessee. Two directors at local Morning Pointe Senior Living communities came and spoke during one of her classes, setting off a great experience that has solidified the direction of her career.

“They were just so energetic and lively, and I could tell they really loved their job, and that inspired me to apply for the internship here,” Sarah said. “I’ve always had a connection with older adults. I’m very close to my grandparents.”

Sarah started her 50-hour internship at Morning Pointe of East Hamilton (TN) Assisted Living and Memory Care at the beginning of March 2024. She spent 10 hours each with five different directors at Morning Pointe, starting with the director of nursing, then assisting the life enrichment director, community relations director, and executive director at the East Hamilton location. She finished her experience with the Lantern program director at Morning Pointe of Hixson (TN) Assisted Living and Memory Care, assisting with memory care activities.

Although there was no formal social work role, Sarah found that her major still applied. “Each position has its own social work-related tasks,” Sarah shared. “Each person has to work in ways where they have to advocate for their patients.”

Sarah enjoyed each rotation, although she said her favorite part was working with activities, especially helping organize Easter festivities and seeing the joy these events brought to the residents and their families.

Sarah, far left, assisting with the groundbreaking at The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer's Center of Excellence, East Hamilton
Sarah, far left, assisting with the groundbreaking at The Lantern at Morning Pointe Alzheimer’s Center of Excellence, East Hamilton

Over the month and a half of her experience, Sarah developed relationships with the residents she was serving. “Leaving the East Hamilton community was sad. I feel like in that short amount of time, I was able to really get to know some of the residents.”

Sarah was also impressed with how the teams at Morning Pointe of East Hamilton and Morning Pointe of Hixson worked together to accomplish resident care.

So, what did Sarah learn from her internship?

“I was really looking to see if working in senior living was what I want,” Sarah shared. “I loved the overall accomplishing feeling of working with the residents and knowing that’s where my future is headed.”

After one more summer class at Cleveland State, she hopes to complete her bachelor’s in social work and then go on to earn a master’s degree in gerontology. She is looking at working in assisted living.

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