Volunteer Houston’s ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Internship

College Student has Valuable Experience
as Summer Intern at The Monarch School

My name is Angela Pidala and I am Junior Sociology major at Texas A&M University. I am a part of Volunteer Houston’s ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program as The Monarch School’s summer intern and I am loving every moment of it. This internship opportunity has greatly benefited me and has exceeded my expectations. I love being around kids and know that I want to pursue a job that involves helping kids in some way. I never really thought about working with special needs children until this internship opportunity arose. After being an intern working closely with students with neurological differences every day (teaching, supporting, observing, attending therapy sessions, or other various tasks) I can firmly say I now have a special place in my heart for these students. I can see myself in a few years possibly working with special needs children, whether it’s in a different field or somewhere similar to the school and therapy environment like The Monarch School.


I am assigned a specific classroom where I help teach and support four of the sweetest 8-10 year old students. We do various activities from science projects, to movement music, to one on one lessons with the students. Each of the students have different tools that help them stay calm and regulated throughout the day. It has been neat for me to interact with these students and learn about their tools that help them. These tools can vary in many ways; a few examples are resting on a bean bag, making plans to visit other students, and going for a walk around the track. I have grown to love these students and love teaching them more and more each day.  

I also really enjoy going to the therapy sessions with the students when I get the chance to step out of the classroom. It is so interesting and amazing to me to watch these students enter into a slightly different environment and watch them begin to slowly improve in their speech, interaction, regulation, connection, and much more within a 30 minute session. The therapists here at The Monarch School are very talented and it amazes me how they use each students’ challenges and differences to help them progress instead of hinder them. I have been blessed by an amazing team of PEs, ILP team members, and Therapists that have been very welcoming and helpful to me throughout my time here at Monarch thus far.

I have also been able to share some of my own talents and passions with the students by performing some cheerleading and gymnastics skills. I was able to send videos of my team and me individually performing to the PEs for their students to watch. Then, later that day I put on a live show for them that included an explanation of my background in cheer, live jumps and tumbling, questions, and an opportunity for the students who were interested to learn some basic skills at a separate scheduled time. Overall, I have thoroughly enjoyed working at The Monarch School, and it has been such an amazing experience.

Monarch Student In the Community: