Through our Meet the Family series, we will introduce a new Upper Ninety staff member so you can get to know us better. This month, meet Program Intern Devon Harris!
My name is Devon Harris, and I am a Program Intern at Upper Ninety. I am a senior Social Work major at the University of Texas at Austin and was thrilled to find Upper Ninety for my senior year internship.
Upper Ninety allows me to combine my love for soccer and my passion for Social Work as a profession. I chose this line of work because teens are a population that need more support, advocacy, and resources. I feel like it is too often that teens do not have someone that is there to listen and support them in any way they need. Soccer breaks the formal boundaries and allows a deep relationship to be established with each person on the team. The skills that I have acquired serve me in a way that allows me to be flexible in the way and the environment I approach each student in.
I grew up playing soccer and always wanted to find a way to bring it back into my life after I stopped playing in high school. Playing on intramural teams during my first 2 of years of college was not enough but I did not know how to incorporate soccer any more than that. I was told about Sports and Social Work later in my college career but I knew it was something that I needed to discover more about. I actively sought out an internship placement that would allow me to connect with teens through sports and immediately expressed my interest in being placed here.
I have been able to contribute to different mindfulness games and restorative justice circle topics that we do on the field. I like the Team Circle time because hearing every players response lets me know more about them and it is a time that they get to know me. I also feel like I discover more about myself every time we partake in a circle.
A new initiative that Upper Ninety is incorporating is Facetime; a face to face meeting with each student who is in the program. Facetime allows me to utilize different social work skills as we talk about a variety of topics and engage in different activities. I love doing Facetime at both of our schools because it helps me build a relationship with each player and it is an opportunity to address different challenges that we all face.