Project RETURN

Read about our Internship Program

Introducing our 2013/14 Intern Program

Our 2013/14 interns Erica, Nina, Saffire, Jesse, and Tarissa

Our 2012/13 interns Lindsay, Katie, Paul, and Chelsea

Learn about the Marquette Internship Program

Our 2013/14 Intern Program

by Ed de St. Aubin, Marquette University

The Marquette University – Project RETURN Internship program is now fully functioning. The five student-interns you can see and read about here have all committed either 9 or 12 months to serving in this capacity.

The staff of Project RETURN has been amazing mentors to these students as each dive into assisting with the day-to-day activities of the agency. The students combine this hands on experience with an academic component as we meet weekly to discuss the research literature regarding the reentry process.

These five students will complete their internships this May and move onto other meaningful activities as they build careers and lives of purpose. Each is a fabulous young woman and it has been great working with them. It is with bitter sweetness that we say goodbye and begin the process of selecting new interns for the 2014-2015 school year.

Erica Gleason (2013/14)

I am a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences majoring in Psychology and minoring in Criminology & Law Studies. After I receive my undergraduate degree I plan on continuing to further my education by attending graduate school.

I hope to have a career counseling youths in the juvenile system which is why I found the opportunity to intern at Project RETURN so interesting and beneficial.

Nina Linneman (2013/14)

I am currently a senior at Marquette University, studying psychology with a minor in Italian Studies. I am thrilled to be back at Project RETURN for this internship, following a service learning position at the organization during my sophomore year. I have been drawn to the work of Project RETURN, and the mission and commitment of those who make Project RETURN possible constantly impress me.

I have been blessed to work with Wendel on the grant writing and business side of Project RETURN. Following graduation, I will join Teach for America and become an elementary school teacher in Milwaukee. I hope to shrink the achievement gap that is so problematic in our schools in the City of Milwaukee.

Saffire McCool (2013/14)

I am currently a junior at Marquette University. I am double majoring in Psychology as well as Criminology & Law Studies. Project RETURN is the perfect balance between my two majors, because the majority of my work here at Project RETURN has to do with outreach.

I, along with my mentor, go into schools where we work with children who are having trouble in areas such as self-control and aggression. Our goal is to give them tools to help deal with their problem-solving issues. We also get to go into the prisons and work with those who are incarcerated to help them with things such as employment search.

I enjoy my work at Project RETURN because we work, face-to-face, with all types of people with varying stories and it really allows you to greater understand the community that we live in and the needs of the people surrounding us. After Project RETURN and undergraduate school I am planning on getting a Masters in Social Welfare and Justice. I plan on working with families like the ones I work with now, to help them get on the right track in their lives.

Jesse Schuller-Hosking (2013/14)

I am a senior at Marquette University studying Psychology with a criminology minor. I am planning on going to grad school in the fall to get my Masters in Social Work.

I would like to one day become a licensed clinical social worker to work as a psychotherapist with victims of domestic violence. I am so thankful for this internship at Project RETURN and have enjoyed my time there!

Tarissa Young-Clayborn (2013/14)

My name is Tarissa Young-Clayborn and I am from Aurora, Illinois. I am a Senior at Marquette University studying Psychology. I interned at Project RETURN from May 2013- December 2013. My time at Project RETURN has been nothing short of amazing.

I was given the opportunity to work with Brian Osei who has taught me multitudes about reintegration, and laws regarding Wisconsin. With this opportunity I was able to connect with members of the Milwaukee Community and build relationships that will last a lifetime.

My favorite part about working at Project RETURN is seeing the smiles on our clients’ faces when they realize that they have what it takes to succeed! Project RETURN has been a blessing in my life and I salute Wendel, Andre, Teri, Brian, and Lavealea for all the work that they do.

Lindsay Wolter (2012/13)

I am a Psychology and Sociology double major, and plan to go to graduate school in the fall in Counseling Psychology to get my MA degree. I was honored and thrilled to get this internship because I have been around similar things like it my whole life.

My mom was a social worker at Ethan Allen school for boys and my step dad is a parole/probation officer. I wanted to learn more about the struggles of reintegration from the ex-convicts perspective which lead me to do some delving in of my own with some interviews and a research paper. I hope to learn from this experience and to come out knowledgeable and humbled.

Katie Klein (2012/13)

I am currently a senior at Marquette University in the College of Arts and Sciences. I am a double major in psychology and criminology. My hometown is Wilmette, Illinois, thirty minutes north of Chicago. My goal is to give to the community whatever I can.

Currently I am part of the Bystander Intervention Team which teaches theories and applicable styles of communication to intervene before something becomes a problem. I was also a member of VOICE here at Marquette, which was a sexual violence awareness group. I was that student who had no clue what they wanted to study or what type of job they wanted. Frankly, I am still unsure of what career I am searching for.

All I know is I hope I am able to help people. I got involved with Project RETURN because I am frustrated with sitting in a class learning about all the things the criminal justice system is doing wrong and how the system is set up to let people fail. I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the lives of people who are not always provided the resources that Project RETURN supplies. The work that everyone contributes at Project RETURN is contributing to the improvement of the community and most importantly the client’s lives.

Paul Timm (2012/13)

I am a senior currently pursuing a Bachleor’s Degree in Psychology. I am extremely excited to have been chosen to work as an intern for Project RETURN. I hope that through this wonderful opportunity I will gain valuable experience that will be beneficial to my career as a Clinical Psychologist in the future.

What I find most important about Project RETURN is the opportunity it brings to give someone a chance for a fresh start that they may not have had otherwise. On top of this, the staff at Project RETURN is inspirational. Their passion and commitment to their work is the foundation of this organization. I am grateful to be a part of the team, and I hope to learn a great deal in my time at Project RETURN.

Chelsea Greco (2012/13)

I am a junior at Marquette University studying Criminology and Psychology, and hope to go to graduate school after next year. I chose to apply for the position at Project RETURN because I really enjoy the client-based organization. I was excited about the chance to help create an immediate impact in someone else’s life as well as learn from all the people I interact with at Project RETURN.

I hope to learn a lot from my interactions with the clients as well as from the caseworkers after interacting with them for the semester. I am excited for this opportunity and have really enjoyed my time at Project RETURN so far!

Marquette Internship Program

by Ed de St. Aubin, Marquette University

The connection between Project RETURN and Marquette University goes back nearly four decades. During the early 1970’s, Marquette students walked over to Cross Lutheran Church on North 16th street, then the headquarters of Project RETURN, to engage in tutoring, writing projects, social events, and other activities that resulted in mutual learning. The formerly incarcerated clients of Project RETURN gained academic skills, GEDs, and new friends. The students learned about criminology but also about redemption and resilience. Everybody participating learned about the great things that can be accomplished when folks work together with a foundation of respect and love.

And the relationship between these two institutions has been maintained over these many years via Service Learning, volunteering, research conducted by Marquette professors, and a scattering of internships. Further, Marquette has hosted the annual fundraising dinner gala – CELEBRATE THE RETURN - for the past two years and will likely continue to do so. It is a natural pairing, for the work Marquette students do is completely aligned with the social justice values that define this Jesuit University. Further, Project RETURN has always depended on the involvement of non-paid helpers. Part of the Project RETURN’s mission is to educate the public regarding the damaging stereotypes many have of those who spent time in prison. These various student-client interactions help achieve that goal as students get to know whole and real individuals, not just an image of person A who committed crime B.

As a member of the Project RETURN Board of Directors and also a professor in the Psychology Department of Marquette, I have seen the value of this connection and tried to sustain and strengthen it. This semester marks the beginning of a formal and extensive internship program. We hope to consistently have three to five Marquette students each working 10 hours a week for the agency.

Four principles shaped the design of this program. First, it must be mutually beneficial to both the students and to Project RETURN. Second, it must combine applied work, academic exploration, and personal discernment. This is why we meet weekly to discuss the student’s experiences and scholarship regarding the reentry process. Third, the director – that’s me – must be integrally involved in a way that seamlessly integrates the academic mode with community engagement. We did not want to make this a two-worlds experience for students who are expected to work “out there” in the community and then to return to campus for separate and disconnected discussions. It helps that I am on the Board and so intimately aware of the agency’s inner-workings. Further, our weekly meetings occur at Project RETURN, not on campus. Our final principle is that the program must evolve – through continuous assessment, discernment, and discussion – such that it meets the changing needs of the program and of the students.

I’m delighted that you can read about the four Marquette students who are Project RETURN Interns this semester. Each is amazing in his or her own way. Even though we are not yet halfway through the semester, the students are already talking about how much they are learning and growing in this role. And the staff is appreciative of the much-needed help. Details regarding the specific activities of the interns will be provided in a future newsletter.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any comments or questions about this endeavor: Ed de St. Aubin at, or call me at (414) 288-2143.

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