Megan Boucher ’19 is spending her summer interning 30 hours per week at High Hopes Clubhouse in Waterville and is working another 25 hours per week at a local restaurant to help pay for school.
Megan decided to intern with High Hopes Clubhouse, a daytime program for people who suffer from major mental illness, to compliment her psychology studies and passion.
“What I have gained from working at High Hopes Clubhouse is an understanding for people who suffer with mental illness,” said Megan. “And, I have gained even more respect for people who have helped change the lives of these folks.”
High Hopes Clubhouse offers support to find jobs for individuals who would like to work. Some of these individuals come to Clubhouse to work on their social skills, while others are eager to start working and earn their own money.
Megan’s job at the Clubhouse is to work side by side with individuals to complete tasks, such as gaining kitchen, computer, cleaning, and landscaping skills, and even help figuring out their monthly earnings based on their benefits.
Megan said she loves being at this place – because the Clubhouse really does change lives.
“Folks who haven’t worked for 10+ years are finally earning money again. Folks who once thought about killing themselves have reconsidered, thanks to Clubhouse. Folks who had a hard time walking out the front door because of their anxiety/depression are now going to the Clubhouse each day and socializing with others,” she said.
Megan grew up in nearby Oakland, Maine, in a close-knit family, with a dad that was away serving in the Army.
“We lived in a small trailer park neighborhood where other kids came to play, and we spent a lot of our time outside. We had a simple life growing up and appreciated the little things, given that we did not have a lot of money,” she said.
Beginning in high school, she started working at the local Gifford’s Ice Cream stand, and since then has been very focused on work and school.
After high school, she attended Husson University for a year, before deciding to transfer to Thomas College.
“Once I started taking classes at Thomas, I knew immediately this is where I belonged. Thomas has that feeling when you walk through the doors that tells you to relax because you’re in good hands.”
She’s had a great experience with her classes and professors, and it’s how she realized her interest in psychology.
Megan decided to do a summer internship to explore the field of psychology even more.
“I feel very lucky to have joined the Clubhouse community, even just for the summer. It has really opened my eyes up to how difficult it can be to live with anxiety/depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and so on,” she said. “I look at this internship as a starting point for me. This job is my first experience in the psychology field, and it makes me want to learn more. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.”