Editor's Note: This story is part of a series focusing on Shawnee High School students who are preparing for future careers through internships as part of Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP).
Everyday, Shawnee High School junior Bethany Newell, helps with, plays with and spends time with 15 students at Crossroads Headstart as part of her internship.
The 16-year-old said the children she works with are under the age of five and typically by the time she gets to the school they are waking up from their nap.
"I assist with the teachers for the most part. I usually get snack and run snack and I just try to assist with each child," Newell said. "So if a child is acting out I try to work with them."
Newell said she enjoys working with the students and chose her internship because she's always wanted to be an educator.
"I want to be a teacher when I grow up. That's what I've been wanting to do since I was really little and I feel like I'm really good with little children and I like watching them and making an impact on them," Newell said.
The junior said she hopes to be an influential and helpful teacher just as hers were when she was younger.
"I like being able to see the children and I just help them and work with them and I like helping the teachers," Newell said. "I've always loved education and I feel like I've always exceeding in education."
Newell said she has a talent for communicating with others and she hopes to apply that in her teaching style.
The 16-year-old explained her internship is beneficial because she's getting experience in a real classroom.
"I think I've learned how to talk to children more efficiently and how to handle their situations more efficiently because each child is so different in the ways that they react to certain things," Newell said.
According to Headstart teacher and mentor Alisha Mcnamara, Newell is wonderful with the children and the class is grateful to have her.
"She's amazing. We love her. She reminds me a lot of me when I was in high school," Mcnamara said. "When she comes in she's a big help."
Newell said she also feels her internship is helping her narrow down what kind of teacher she would like to be such as early childhood or elementary.
According to Darlene Richardson, Center Director at Crossroads Headstart, Newell has a natural gift for working with children and her internship is extremely beneficial to her and the school.
"This is a special calling to be able to work with children and I think she has that patience and that desire and that love and want to make a difference in children," Richardson said. "She's done a great job. The teachers are proud to have her."
Newell said she hopes to attend the University of Oklahoma or Oklahoma City University after she graduates in 2021.