Five East Stroudsburg University students are completing internships with Water Gap Wellness, a comprehensive substance abuse and mental health rehabilitation center scheduled to open next month in Delaware Water Gap.


“We recognize that the overdose epidemic is a national crisis, and it has hit Pennsylvania particularly hard, and we wanted to help,” said Joe Schlim, CEO of Water Gap Wellness. “Our commitment is to bring the community together to provide the most advanced and effective evidenced-based treatments, and to us that starts with hiring locally.”


That includes ESU students Samantha Scalice, Michelle Dyck, Austin Trice, Danielle Turner and Saige DeNigris, who underwent a standard interview process and were offered internships that pay $12 per hour for 30 hours each week. They could be hired full time after graduation.


“Having an internship at Water Gap Wellness is truly an amazing experience,” Turner said. “And having an internship where your leaders believe in you and trust you to make your own decisions with the title only of ‘intern’ is inspiring in a way few people my age can relate to.”


Scalice, a rehabilitation and human services major, is doing research in preparation for an art therapy group that she will lead with guidance from Water Gap Wellness clinicians. She’s also creating a client welcome packet, family program packet and group therapy worksheets.


Dyck and Trice are criminal justice majors. Both are researching and creating luggage and room search protocols and identifying potential environmental hazards throughout the property, in addition to separate work on packets and a seasonal safety newsletter template.


Turner and DeNigris are majoring in hotel, restaurant and tourism management. Turner has an HR emphasis and is working on new hire training quizzes and accompanying certificates, as well as new hire profiles.


DeNigris has an emphasis on special events, so she’s creating recreational fliers, identifying art supply needs, developing a template for a nutritional wellness program, and researching and developing “Barbeque Friday” for Water Gap Wellness programming.