Bison Spotlight – Laura Lyons

The next Bison Spotlight shines on Laura Lyons. She is a member of the class of 2020 and a native of New Milford, Connecticut. She is a Psychology major with a minor in Criminal Justice. Here on The Hill, she is a member of the Nichols College Women’s Field Hockey Team, and the Class of 2020 Treasurer. In her spare time, Laura loves to fish, hangout with friends, play field hockey, sleep and eat food. A fun fact about Laura is this April, she will be running in her second half marathon with four of her teammates.

During the summer going into her junior year, Laura interned for the Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, Connecticut. In this role, she interacted with inmates daily. She attended different classes the counselors provided to the inmates. She also did tours around each cell block she was assigned to, checking on each inmate in their cells. Laura was also responsible for filling out intake reports and transfer paperwork for incoming and transfer inmates.

When Laura was asked about her experience, she said “I got into work around 8 or 9 am. I was checked in and had to go through a security check, then escorted by a correctional officer to the cell block I was placed in for that day. I always passed inmates when walking through the prison. Most of them would yell at me and try to get my attention or just stare at me, straight through my soul. I tried to laugh it off.  I went into the cell block and hung out at the carrel to watch over the inmates who were out for chow or rec time. Following this, I would make legal calls with inmates and the cell block’s counselor. I would also attend group/weekly meetings involving the doctors, nurses, the captain, counselors, and the warden, to discuss issues/plans of certain inmates.”

When we asked Laura what her biggest takeaway and advice to others from this internship was she said,

“Always go in open-minded. There were some days I dreaded waking up early to go in, and never knew what to expect from the day. I never in a thousand years would have seen myself working in a prison for three months, but I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. I would advise underclassmen or any other students to not limit themselves to a certain career path. Take an internship outside of your direct line of work. Step outside of your comfort zone because you never know the opportunity it may lead you to.”

A new opportunity arose for Laura. Starting in May of 2019, Laura started working for You, Inc. as a Relief Residential Counselor. It started as a part-time summer job and has continued into a full-time job this semester with a potential full-time role upon graduation. In this job, Laura overlooks the facilities residents (children) who are there seeking therapy. She also helps with day-to-day tasks, runs occupational therapies with clinicians and performs intakes for new residents.

Laura’s biggest takeaway from her opportunity with You, Inc. is, “This opportunity really opened my eyes to what I want to do in the field of psychology. I have found the passion to work with children to help them find better living environments and provide therapy for them.”

The CPDC Team wants to thank Laura for taking the time to share her success and we wish you the best of luck with your future career!

By Maggie Noelk
Maggie Noelk