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At LEAP, nearly 300 Mount Holyoke students present about their internships and research experiences. You will hear from future policy makers, activists, entrepeneurs, data scientists, teachers, researchers, and market analysts. Most will tell stories of unmitigated success and transformative learning. Others will share details of unexpected challenges they faced, and how they were required to shift and adapt in response. Students worked in 42 countries in every imaginable field. They will discuss important issues of social justice, relate how they met challenges of communication and expression in new contexts, and talk about how to find and succeed in summer internships.

LEAP is designed to give students who aspire to undertake internships and summer research the opportunity to learn from their peers. It is also for the whole Mount Holyoke community where family, friends, faculty, staff and our alumnae come together to celebrate the work and contributions of the presenters.

We are hugely impressed by students in College 211 and inspired by their individual success and collective learning. Their work in bringing the LEAP Symposium to fruition was exceptional. We thank the faculty, staff, alumnae, donors, and internship and research providers whose contributions have make this event possible.

LEAP presenters: Congratulations.
avatar for Kaitlin Braz

Kaitlin Braz

Psychology and Education Major
Autism and Social Experiences: Embracing Challenges and Celebrating Victories with a Popsicle in One Hand and a Pool Tow
Social exclusion has been found to have debilitating emotional, physical, and cognitive effects on individuals; for children with mental health conditions, social stigma often causes this type of demoralizing isolation. Through my Lynk internship, I sought to reverse this cycle by providing children with mental health conditions the opportunity to interact with their neurotypical peers in a social environment. I co-directed a program to seamlessly integrate children with various social and behavioral strengths and challenges (i.e. Autism Spectrum Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder) into a summer day camp that was previously only accessible to their neurotypical peers. My role at the organization was to supervise, design, and model activities while simultaneously offering physical and emotional support to my campers. From this experience, I saw the value of providing equal opportunities to all children and the benefits of social inclusion and integration.