During her summer break, Quenshawn “Q” Brandon ’20 worked as a summer camp unit lead with the Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia where she managed counselors, supervised campers, and ensured that daily camp activities went smoothly for her team.
A psychology major and educational studies minor, Q enjoyed observing the children’s behavior and relating it back to topics she studied in her classes at Wesleyan. For example, one camper displayed leadership skills within her cabin but did not want to
listen to authority figures. Q spent time with the girl, working to break down barriers and helping the camper feel comfortable talking to her. She learned that the camper has a lot of responsibility at home where there is little parental involvement. With this information, Q applied her knowledge from developmental, social, and abnormal psychology classes to shape how she approached the camper during their time together.
Q said that living each week with ten to thirty youth aged seven to fifteen required patience, and it helped improve her problem-solving skills. “I learned I couldn’t go into a situation thinking I knew exactly how to deal with a problem because the solution often varied greatly from my original ideas. It took patience to deal with these situations, but they helped me learn a lot about myself and how I interact with children.” The girls learned to trust Q as their time together progressed, and they formed a special bond by the end of camp.
By setting goals and outlining clear expectations while managing a team of counselors, Q became a more effective communicator and leader. This PDE helped her realize that she enjoys working with high school students when she previously thought this age group would be too challenging. Q is currently shadowing a Macon high school counselor to learn about the daily responsibilities of this role and would like to continue her work with children and adolescents after graduation.
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