Psychology and philosophy double major Gillian Owens ’20 has accepted a position with Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health in Denver, Colo. As a Youth Services Specialist, Owens will mentor youth in the organization’s behavior management program.
Owens was pleased to land the position at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health that provides extensive training before she begins her work with at-risk youth.
The Boonton, N.J.-native began her job search during winter break, where she focused on applying to and preparing for interviews with companies that shared her values. Owens says she learned all she could about Devereux in order to understand where she fit into the organization professionally and philosophically.
Owens credits her experiential learning opportunities for preparing her for the next chapter. “Extracurricular work and volunteering at schools, clubs and with individuals in Geneva motivated my desire to work with young people to reach their potential,” she says. Owens has served as a mentor at the Geneva chapter of the Boys & Girls Club, where she tutored students ages 6-9. She also worked as a tutor through America Reads.
In collaboration with Associate Professor of Psychology Brien Ashdown and several peers, Owens completed research on how psychological constructs shape the way Guatemalan teenagers see their futures. Recently, her research team presented their work at the National Society for Cross-Cultural Research. Titled, “Guatemalan Teenagers’ Aspiration for 15 Years in the Future: A Qualitative Study of Desired Futures,” the project was designed to provide institutions and educators with insights and tools to help students reach their goals.
“Studying psychology at HWS has been fascinating, and the opportunity to conduct research with Professor Ashdown showed me new ways to think about many subjects,” she says.
A member of the Herons soccer team, Owens praises the mentorship of William Smith Soccer Head Coach Aliceann Wilber P’12 and the leadership and teamwork opportunities provided by the program. Owens says she had “an amazing growth experience” that taught her how to hone her “persistence and adaptability.”