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When Tracie Huls, a 21-year-old sophomore at Illinois Valley Community College, learned about dysfunctional families the example did not come from a sociology textbook. Huls observed a children's support group at a shelter for battered women operated by Alternatives to Domestic Violence. She volunteered there for a short time through Illinois Valley Community College's internship program.

"One of the children in the group told me her father had died in a fire. I told a staff member at the shelter. The staff member explained that the father was not dead, but that the child was coping with the parents' divorce by telling other people that his father had died in a fire, rather than tell them the truth about the divorce,"said Huls.

Huls is one of several students who have pursued their educational major by volunteering to work at a community based internship site arranged by Illinois Valley Community College's Division of Social Science and Public Service. To grasp the powerful influence that an internship may have on students, it is interesting to examine what interns themselves have been exposed to and their personal reflection about their experiences.