Sam Crutchfield Earns Senior Spotlight

Montclair High School senior, Sam Crutchfield, works with autistic children at The Children’s Institute for the Career Internship Program.

Sam Crutchfield is learning professional and personal life lessons.

Sam Crutchfield
Photo courtesy of Rebecca Brownsword

Montclair High School’s Career Internship Program has allowed Sam Crutchfield to spend his four-week internship at The Children’s Institute in Verona. This school is specifically for children with autism and related disabilities.

Crutchfield primarily oversees one eighth grade and one ninth grade class. His internship requires a range of hands-on responsibilities. “If children are having outbursts or can’t control themselves, I’ll help calm them down,” said Crutchfield.

Not only does Crutchfield assist in the classroom, but he is on the job for social situations as well. “I have lunch with the kids,” said Crutchfield. “I’ll get them to socialize with each other. Most of the students can talk to adults, but they don’t work as well with their peers. I try to get them to have conversations with their peers by adding questions and comments.”

This internship teaches professional skills, such as time management, but it has also given Crutchfield a valuable perspective on life in general. “Where I work gives me an idea of how humble I should be,” said Crutchfield. “I’m very blessed in my scenario. A lot of people are very blessed and they don’t realize it so [the internship] is very rewarding.”

During his time at Montclair High School, Crutchfield was a member of both the football and lacrosse teams. He will miss both sports and the communities his teams created, but mostly the friendships he’s made over the years.

Next fall, Crutchfield will attend Manhattan College and play division one lacrosse. Crutchfield discussed the challenge of committing to be apart of such high caliber athletics during his time at college: “It will keep structure in my schedule and it will make sure I stay on task. It gives me a schedule so I know when it’s time to play and when it’s time to get to work.” He plans to major in communications.

Written By: Rebecca Brownsword, Caitlin Kennedy, Natalie Toth and Maddy Firkser

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