The Intern Experience

LivAbility Magazine

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The Intern Experience

By Emily Heard
Photo by Loren Worthington

Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center

We all know what being an intern usually entails: long hours; little (if any) pay; and getting everyone coffee. While that may be the case at other places, at Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center, interns make the wheels go round! Fitness classes, aquatics classes, rock wall, and youth programs are all daily activities for an intern at the Center. Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center employs staff from all over the country, like Montana, Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, Arizona, Georgia and Iowa, and many employees were once interns themselves.

So what is the draw and appeal Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center has towards potential interns? Kelsey Bocken, Recreation Therapy Coordinator, explains, “Our Internship Program at the Sports & Fitness Center impacts an intern’s career. It is our job to expose interns to a variety of experiences in order for them to be successful in any environment. Ultimately, we are molding them to be extraordinary professionals in the field of their choice. What separates us from other internship experiences is the amount of diversity offered. With this wide range, interns can get a feel for which area they are passionate about and build a solid foundation, rather than isolating one population.”

Interns are a necessary piece of the Fitness Center puzzle. Recruiting interns from across the country ensures the environment at Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center is constantly evolving and improving. A current Recreation Therapy Intern expressed, “This has been such an important experience in my life. As a young professional, I feel that I can now take on anything my future job may hold. The staff welcomed me into their facility and made sure I got the absolute most out of this experience; no coffee errands for me!” At Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center, interns have the opportunity to experience all aspects of what makes a facility operate. This is not a place to go for your “typical” internship.

According to Gus LaZear, Vice President and General Manager of Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center, the Center guides, challenges and prepares interns for their future. “Our impact on interns varies according to each individual. The more open minded an intern is in any field, the more that person will absorb, learn and take to a future career.”

To learn more about internship opportunities, contact (602) 606-2757 KelseyB@ability360.org.

Contributor Section

Emily Heard

Emily Heard is a recent recreational therapy intern at the Ability360 Sports & Fitness Center. She is a graduate of Illinois State University.


Golf, Sports for Vets, Golf club and ball laying in the grass.