Meet NSSRA’s 2019 Summer Intern: Carina Morales

Have you noticed a new, friendly face around lately? Join us in welcoming Carina, our intern for this summer! Carina is currently an undergrad at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, double majoring in Social Work and Therapeutic Recreation, with a minor in Psychology. We’re so glad to have Carina on #teamnssra! Read more from Carina below.


I discovered the field of Therapeutic Recreation my junior year of high school when I attended a career fair at SIU. While at SIU, I joined the Student Recreation Society (SRS). Through SRS I discovered an appreciation and interest in the field of parks and recreation by attending conferences through NRPA. It was at the IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights conference that I attended the ITRS Annual Board Meeting and truly discovered special recreation associations.

While at SIU I have volunteered at events such as the 50th Anniversary Special Olympic – Change the Game Day, Color Run for Autism, and Adaptaroo (Adaptive Sports Day). I was also an active volunteer at the Giant City Specialize Equine Services and Therapeutic Riding in Makanda, IL. Last summer I was a camp counselor at Camp Little Giant in Makanda, IL. I worked with children, youth, and adults with a variety of disabilities. During the school year I work as an Independent Living Skills Aide at OPTIONS Transition to Independent Living in Carbondale, IL.

I have a love and passion for helping others. It is an amazing feeling to positively impact someone’s life. I am excited to learn from the NSSRA team and develop the skill and knowledge needed to become a great Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). I hope to make as many contributions as possible while at NSSRA. Here’s to a great summer!

What is your favorite program or memory with NSSRA so far? So far, my favorite memory has been the ELA Fun Run. It was awesome to see different special recreation associations come together for this event. I enjoyed cheering on the participants. Getting to see how excited they all were at the end when they received their medal was the best part of the event.

What are you most excited about this summer? I am excited to start the program season and to start interacting with participants!

Tell me something unique about yourself? I used to play rugby for the Southern Illinois University women’s rugby club.

If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose? Replication is one superpower I really wish I had. I often find myself wanting to do so many things at one time and I hate having to minimize my decision, but at the same time, it would also be beneficial whenever wanting to take a break.

One word that describes you at age 10. Chatty.

Hidden talent? This might be a little weird, but I can vibrate/shake my eyes.

Favorite food? My all-time favorite food is pad thai! I could probably eat it every day.

Name one thing you can’t live without. I definitely would not be able to live without my family. My family has had a huge role in shaping the person I am today.

You’re happiest when? I am the happiest when surrounded by the people I love. But also, when I can make a difference.