Temple University Senior, and former Ash Intern, Taylor is going places.

No, literally. Going places.

She’s presented her own original research at Temple’s Undergraduate Research Forum this month; is currently completing her Honor’s Poster for graduation on May 2nd, and will be participating in a group presentation at the Association for Psychological Science’s Annual Conference in Boston in late May. And then there’s grad school…more research…building and deepening existing relationships with her mentors…and that Ph.D. goal.

So while we can’t say she owes it all to her internship experience at JEVS Human Services, we’ll definitely let her tell the story!

“As part of the Franklin C. Ash Summer Internship Program, I interned at JEVS’ ACT I facility during the summer of 2015,” said the psychology major from Willow Grove, Pa. “I’ve always been interested in the intersection of mental health, physical health and policy, specifically how risk-taking decisions lead to negative outcomes and how we can better serve people who end up in situations that aren’t the best, but also aren’t completely their fault.”

Taylor’s desire to do something more direct with psychology led her to JEVS Human Services and our Ash Program, which along with providing valuable mentoring experience, activities, workshops and a connection with Jewish life, gave her the opportunity to receive hands-on clinical experience at one of JEVS’ outpatient treatment facilities.

“It surprised me how chaotic a day could be, but the counselors and administrative team handle the chaos in such a way that serves the people who need help, and that moves clients toward success. People really finished the program, obtained their certification, and were taught how to problem-solve in their own lives.”

The experience challenged her, strengthening Taylor’s resolve and commitment to her chosen path.

“Interacting with clients, observing and co-facilitating, learning about how reporting works–all were well-rounded clinical aspects that have been able to help with the interviews I’m having right now, both for graduate school and for a career in the meantime,” she said.

Taylor’s research, which inspects how a person’s mood, paired with different personality traits, influences the (sometimes risk-taking) behavior of the individual, is something that is of both interest to her and a point of pride for those who know her.

“My parents are thrilled,” she remarked. “My mom has basically been tearing up every time I have an interview.”

This success, of course, is not limited. Taylor’s brother, Jackson, was a participant with JEVS’ Lasko College Prep Program last summer, and is about to become a Temple Owl this fall. Sharing a responsibility to help others and the world, both Taylor and Jackson have bright futures ahead.

“A collaborative project I’m working on with my primary investigator involves behavioral tasks: how many times people will push a button to receive a reward, characteristics of people who quit, and how much effort you expend versus how valuable the reward is to you,” said Taylor.

For these young JEVS alums, the knowledge gained and paired with their strong personal effort only continues to show future promise and reward–not only for themselves–but for our community at large.

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