Lasha White, intern at Child Development Center at Wilder

Interns Learn Along with Children at Wilder Child Development Center


The Wilder Child Development Center provides high quality early childhood education for children age 16 months to five years. This fall, two young adults also found hands-on learning opportunities at the Center. They recently completed five-week paid internships through a partnership with Face to Face, a Saint Paul nonprofit that serves teens and young adults.

“I had a great experience there,” says Lasha White, 23. She worked four hours a day at the Child Development Center to help children learn and grow during lessons, outside play, lunch and naps. Lasha enjoyed assisting teachers with children in the classroom.

Lasha says she had previously thought of herself as someone who preferred working with older adults, but she may now apply for work at child care centers and preschools. “I kind of want to work with kids now, especially kids with special needs,” Lasha says. “I feel like I connect with them.”

Face to Face helps teens and young adults with immediate basic needs, healthcare, counseling, housing, jobs, education, and more. The organization’s internship program offers opportunities for young people to discover new career possibilities as they build skills and experience.

“This was a great opportunity to support young adults in our community, especially youth of color, and introduce them to potential careers in early childhood education,” says Donyella Smith, the family resource navigator at the Child Development Center. “I am appreciative to have had this opportunity to mentor as well.”