Aleida Silva-Garcia | PCOM School Psychology | Match Day 2022
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Aleida Silva-Garcia (PsyD '23) 
Match Day 2022

March 31, 2022

Students graduating from the Doctor of Psychology (PsyD) in School Psychology program are celebrating the next step in their professional journey. Here they share what has inspired them along the way and what advice they would give to new students.

Aleida Silva-Garcia (PsyD '23)Where did you match?

I matched with Boys Town Behavioral Health Clinic – Grand Island. This site is located in Grand Island, Nebraska, and is part of the Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology (NICPP).

What was your experience like at PCOM?

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s School PsyD program is taught by an excellent group of faculty members who are experts in their field and have experience practicing. I felt very supported by the faculty and staff because there is an open door policy, and I found that questions were welcomed.

I received extensive training in Applied Behavioral Analysis and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The program is nonrestrictive and the PCOM faculty helped guide me to find practicums and experiences that allowed me to build on the skills I was learning or interests I wanted to explore.

I will leave PCOM as a well-rounded psychologist with exceptional training and extensive practice in diverse settings such as schools, outpatient clinics, and hospitals.

How did you feel when you found out you had matched?

I was elated to learn that I matched with Boys Town in Grand Island, Nebraska. Prior to applying to the Nebraska Internship Consortium in Professional Psychology (NICPP), I researched the history, development and current programs at NICPP, specifically, Boys Town, and with confidence, I can state that it is an honor to become part of this prestigious organization. The work of this distinguished organization, staff and renowned faculty members are internationally known and respected. When applying for the internship, I reached outside my comfort zone and applied to places very different from my hometown of Philadelphia. I am so glad that I did because, as a result, I have an amazing opportunity to grow and learn from a top-rated program. Providing high-quality, evidence-based services to children, youth and their families is a value I share with Boys Town. Children and youth are our future, and what better job could there be in this world than helping our youth thrive? This is absolutely a great match!

What inspired you to pursue school psychology?

Children and youth may have experiences or developmental concerns that, if untreated, can affect their entire lives and the lives of the next generation. As a school psychologist, I am well poised to see children when they present issues in school, and I can intervene so that a child receives the support they may need. I aspire to help children, youth and families to thrive by helping them to develop healthy mindsets, behaviors and relationships.

In August 2022, I will become an intern providing therapeutic interventions for children, youth and families at Boys Town. My career choices have brought me to this internship. I have worked as a mobile therapist and a certified school psychologist.

The internship at Boys Town will provide me with training from experts and an opportunity to practice Applied Behavioral Analysis, CBT and DBT with diverse consumers. My goal for the internship is to learn as much as possible so that I will be able to understand and help children, youth and families with a range of presenting problems.

What advice would you give to a first year student starting their journey?

Regardless of your program, it will be challenging, and it will require a high level of academic rigor and dedication of time. Before your first class, encourage yourself and think about how you will schedule and manage academic and everyday life demands. Begin to explore your areas of interest and tailor your practicums and externship experience to your goals. Try to push yourself out of your comfort zone because that is when you grow. Ask questions as much as possible. Say yes to new and exciting opportunities. Practice self-care and take it all seriously.

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