With Funded Internship, Jackie Fickes ’15 Helps Heal Traumatized Teenagers

With a Preston grant, Jackie Fickes ’15 is interning at a group home for troubled teenage girls

This May, Jackie Fickes ’14 started her summer internship at Project Return, a group home for troubled young women in Westport, Conn., two weeks before the newest resident moved in.

Though the new intern and the new resident were from vastly different backgrounds — one is a rising junior at an elite liberal arts college, the other a traumatized and deprived teenager with nowhere to go — their differences evaporated quickly.

One afternoon, after the girl had returned to the home from school, she erupted into an emotional maelstrom. “She was saying she didn’t want to be here…she didn’t feel at home, that she felt really alone,” Fickes recalled, “understandably like she didn’t quite have a home base in the world yet.”

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