Clausen Works to Provide Employment Opportunities

Arkansas Tech senior Christina Clausen is helping others find a sense of fulfillment this summer as part of her internship.

Clausen, a rehabilitation science major from Russellville, is spending the summer interning with Arkansas Support Network in Springdale.

As part of her duties, Clausen is working to assist individuals with a disability to gain employment in the community.

Clasuen says she works with numerous individuals, or consumers, each day to help them find a position in the area.

“I work with each consumer to help determine job interests, job goals and the person’s strengths,” said Clausen.  “Once I have a feel for the person’s employment situation, I’m then able to talk to employers in the community on the consumer’s behalf.”

When working with consumers, Clausen says she tries to focus on the individual and not any limitations the person may have.

“My goal is to focus on the strengths of the people I work with and look past the disability they have,” said Clausen. “These are wonderful, inspiring people who have so much to offer and have excellent motivation.  I try to help those in the community recognize the talents of my consumers and the positive energy they will bring to the workforce.”

Clausen says her internship has been “a lesson in perspective.”

“I have heard from several individuals the reason they want to work is to be able to give back to their friends who have helped them,” recalled Clausen.  “Hearing their stories inspires me to make an impact with the resources I have.”

While Clausen enjoys her internship, she says working with others can be a challenge.

“I want to encourage my consumers and do what is best for them,” she said.  “The challenge is making sure that my efforts challenge these individuals, while still providing the resources they need in order to be successful.”

Clausen said her coursework at Arkansas Tech has helped her manage the challenge and has provided a strong background in the field.

“Several of the courses I took directly impact my daily duties,” said Clausen.  “It’s a wonderful experience to take what I’ve been taught and have the opportunity to apply that knowledge in an effort to help someone.”

After completing her internship, Clausen will graduate from Arkansas Tech, and she plans to enroll in graduate school to further her education.

Learn more about the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Arkansas Tech.