Graduate Student Internships

Higher Ground hosts graduate social work students with the school community partners. In the past, Higher Ground has worked with Boston College, Boston University, and Simmons College to provide clinical social work students opportunities to serve students and families in Boston Public Schools experiencing homelessness. Interns have the opportunity to work in schools and at the Higher Ground office to engage in a variety of activities with opportunities for professional development and clinical supervision.

The social work interns have the unique opportunity to serve as both clinical and mezzo social workers. This role combines the provision of individual and group therapy, along with community organizing and collaboration with school staff and administrators. In order to align with Higher Ground’s mission, the following objectives for the social work interns have been established at each partner school:

  • Collaborate with teachers, parents, homeless liaison, and administrators to identify students who are considered homeless and assess the families housing history to connect them with the services provided by the Family-Led Stability Pilot.

  • Conduct individual and group therapy for the children at each partner school by utilizing evidence-based practices to maximize the therapeutic benefits of the children receiving treatment. 

  • Improve school culture and climate by promoting parental engagement and social emotional learning strategies to students, teachers and administrators. 

  • Implement data collection initiative to track the progress of students impacted by the social work interns.

Meet Our Interns for the 2019-2020 School Year!

I am looking forward to interning at Higher Ground because I want to learn and build the necessary skills to further my career in social work, which in turn will help others in society as well. In an ideal world every child would have access to excellent education, health care and a quality home life. This is a hard goal to reach, but I hope to one day be able to provide at least one child with that comfort. Higher Ground and Higginson Elementary are a good fit for me because I can truly feel the connect and passion the individuals behind these programs have for the community and I cannot wait to be immersed in their goal to promote the health and well-being of children and families.

Silvia Petkova

Being a new resident to the Boston area myself, I find almost a comfort in Higher Ground's dedication to support both families and children in the Roxbury/Dorchester/Mattapan area.  I recognize how important it is that members of the community feel as though they belong and have a voice, especially when it comes to education.  This is a main reason why I was so drawn to Higher Ground as a organization. I hope that as a intern at Higher Ground this upcoming year, I can learn about the community and work to further improve the well-being of both children and families in the area.

Ashley Van Hoof

 My name is Elizabeth Betancourt and I am a graduate social work student at Simmons University. During my time at Higher Ground, I hope to learn advocacy and how to empower people to create change in their communities. In the future, I would like to be a leader and social worker in urban communities that do not offer equal opportunities for all. I am excited to work with Higher Ground and uphold their mission to make Boston a better place for the children and parents of Rochester, Dorchester, and Mattapan.

Elizabeth Betancourt

If you have any questions about graduate student internship opportunities, contact

Brandon Lopez at




384 Warren St, Roxbury, MA 02119, USA

Office: (617) 652-8014 X302

Mobile: (617) 594-2132

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