Lauren Conn, Candlelighters Programs Intern

I am a Programs Intern at Candlelighters in my final year of the Bachelor’s in Social Work program at Portland State University.  I wanted to intern at Candlelighters because I hope to get my Master’s degree in social work and become a pediatric hospital social worker.  I spent time in pediatric hospitals as a teenager, and those experiences inspired me to pursue a career in social work.  In my time as a Candlelighters intern I have had opportunities to learn about the experiences of children and families going through pediatric cancer, and I hope to use the knowledge I have gained to support families in my future career as a social worker.

Throughout the year some of the projects I have had the opportunity to work on are creating a resource guide for families, helping create an annual evaluation so Candlelighters can regularly review feedback from families, and helping develop a Bereavement Committee where bereaved parents have opportunities to help Candlelighters expand programming for bereaved families.  I also recently got to participate on the Candlelighters scholarship review committee and am excited to have gotten to play a role in supporting childhood cancer survivors in reaching their educational and vocational goals.  While I would have loved to get to experience Candlelighters programs in-person and have gotten more opportunities to connect with and get to know families, I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had this year and hope to stay involved with Candlelighters in the future.