ECYD Alum in Residence: Gene Lemarr
Did you miss the ECYD Alum in Residence talk with Gene Lemarr from Little Keswick School? We have you covered!
On Mar. 23 , undergraduate alumni Gene Lemarr came to talk to UVA students about his passion for the Little Keswick School as Staff Training Coordinator, along with Shift Supervisor Jacob Biggs.
What is the Little Keswick School?
Little Keswick School is a therapeutic, all-boys boarding school for adolescent youth with special needs. Located on a 25-acre pasture just seven miles from Charlottesville, Little Keswick “features quality academic and socioemotional programs within a relaxed atmosphere, providing the warmth, structure, and security a child needs in order to mature.” The school serves 34 children at maximum capacity, and boys stay typically for two years on average. Little Keswick youth can face complex cognitive challenges in the form of mood disorders, ADHD, social difficulties, self-regulation problems, anxiety, and more. A lot of their students don’t naturally learn social cues, so Keswick staff have to directly teach them skills like eye contact, shaking hands, and more.
In order to meet every boy’s individual needs, there’s “essentially a huge therapeutic milieu” at Little Keswick in Lemarr's words. Regarding therapeutic services, there are psychiatrists on staff, psychologists, a social worker, individual therapy meetings and bi-weekly family therapy, interns from the UVA medical school, and campus therapy dogs. Little Keswick also facilitates a whole array of activities such as hiking, canoeing, gardening, horseback riding, woodshop, crafts, and more to encourage student development.
Gene Lemarr graduated from UVA in 1999 and has been with the Little Keswick School ever since, holding a variety of roles including both residential and teaching positions. While he worked with a computer company and then with another school for a few years, he has remained at Keswick because of its unique, enriching culture; every work environment Lemarr was exposed to outside of Little Keswick “was never comparable” because of the staff support and community found in every facet of the campus.
How Can I Get Involved?
There are several avenues for you to become involved with the Little Keswick School. Lemarr commented that “there are specialized internships if you’re in a particular grad program, but outside of that, an undergrad intern is a jack of all trades.” Because of this, interns are trained on interpersonal skills to work with youth. While not required, Keswick is looking for primarily 3rd and 4th year students with camp experience or work where they’ve managed a large group of children. Year-long internships usually require 15 unpaid hours a week, but the schedule is very flexible and includes one-on-one work with Keswick boys. However, you can become a paid employee once you are 21.
Summer internships can be found through Handshake, and will be coming soon through the Internship Placement Program (IPP) database. For now, you can refer to Little Keswick's main website and contact Academic Coordinator Jody Berkey at email@example.com or 434-295-0457 ext. 37.
For More Information
If you plan on applying for the Little Keswick School, be sure to look into the following resources to brush up on how you should structure your resume and cover letter. After you’ve prepped, stop by Newcomb 170 or 1515 drop-in office hours from 12-5pm every weekday for further guidance.