What is working as a Behavior Skills Trainer look like?
Some people have jobs that are consistently the same every day, they come to work and know exactly what to expect… but a Behavior Skills Trainer at Aptiv would not say that describes what they do.
Who is one of our Behavior Skills Trainers?
Cassie Mitchell has a passion for serving kids, that is shown by seeing the way she interacts with the youth Aptiv serves.
She helps our participants with skill building in structured enviornments as well as in everyday life situations.
Cassie is newly out of college and with a freshly minted Bachelor’s degree in at risk youth from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, Cassie does what she does to help build kids up. She swears by the quote “It is easier to build strong children than repair weak adults.”
What does a day look like?
On an overcast day, with rain on the radar, it can be difficult to keep kids engaged. After the kids are picked up for the day and brought to Aptiv’s youth center, breakfast is eaten, followed by free time.
Free time looks different for all the kids, one was playing catch with a youth associate, another two kids were building a tower with red plastic cups, drawing and coloring, and others doing activities with other youth associates.
Lunch is at Longfellow Middle School, followed by outings, if weather permits, and other social skills activities. A few favorite destinations are Erikson’s Aquatic Center, Clearwater Farm, Reptile Roundup, and also parks, bowling and hiking.
“It is so fulfilling to watch them learn new skills such as coping skills, avoiding fights, and overall watching the progress they make,” Cassie said. “But during their progress you have to have tough skin and not let anything get to you. These kids are learning to handle their emotions.”
This week's visit from Hollyann
Behavior support practicum intern, Hollyann Niemiec, comes once a week to do an activity with the kids on how to handle emotions. This week's activity was molding Play Doh based on questions such as "What does happy look like?" "What does angry look like?" then the group talked about what they created.
Summer is almost over, but after school starts soon
The Summer Program is ending soon, and the After School Program will begin when school starts again, so instead of many kids spending full days at Aptiv, they will only come after school.
“We spend so much time with the kids,” Cassie said. “They end up like our own kids. We become like parents to them, any of us here would do anything for them.”