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Hi! My name is Noey, and I’m super excited to spend the summer in New Orleans. I’m a rising Junior majoring in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and the Child Policy Research Certificate. I’m originally from South Florida, but I recently moved to New York City.

These past two weekends have been jam packed!  Our first weekend, we went to a museum that had exhibits on Mardi gras and Hurricane Katrina: two events that are quintessential to understanding New Orleans culture.  We also went on a bus tour of the city. We left no stone unturned: upriver & downriver, lakeside & riverside, and everything in between.  Our tour guide Joe knew something about everything the city had to offer, illustrating just how much love New Orleanians have for their city. The next weekend, we went to a cooking class at the New Orleans School of Cooking.  We learned from our lovely teacher Pat how to make jambalaya, blueberry bread pudding, pralines, and gumbo-do not, under any circumstances, ever ever ever, leave the roux. We then explored the French Quarter through the lens of the Creole Tomato Festival.  Although the tomato eating contest was slightly anticlimactic, the live music and sno-balls could not be beat.

One last thing that I almost forgot to mention: the beignets.  Heavenly little pastries.  We’ve gone to the world famous Cafe du Monde three times within the last 9 days, and I intend on keeping the one beignet trip every three days streak going.

I’m interning at the Louisiana Alliance of Child Advocacy Centers (LACAC). The Child Advocacy Center model works to prevent child abuse and support victims through providing counseling services, medical exams, and forensic interviews to affected families.  The LACAC is the state-wide organization that supports all of the CAC’s in the state of Louisiana.  This week, my supervisor was at a leadership conference in Washington DC. While she was gone, I had the opportunity to focus on learning how a local center works.  I sat in on a social worker orientation at the NOPD and attended two No-Hit Zone trainings, all while helping out around the center by transcribing forensic interviews, updating databases, making infographics, and compiling research. No two days have been the same, and I have learned so much already! I can’t wait to see what the next seven weeks will bring.