By Melissa Baker
My internship as a case manager for Grace at the Green Light has been the most rewarding and motivational experience I have had during my time as a social work student at Northwestern State University. I connected with clients, other homeless organizations, and community members, all who supported my growth as a social worker both directly and indirectly.
With such an empathetic, compassionate, and supportive supervisor, this experience has helped me achieve my goal of completing my bachelor’s program for my degree in social work. Because of the lessons I learned not only from my supervisor and cooperating organizations but from my clients, too, I’m confident that I can continue to grow and develop professionally and in my personal endeavors. Within my social work internship, there were two distinct learning experiences that stand out to me as the most influential aspects of my development this semester: community involvement with local homeless organizations and nonprofit management.
Throughout my internship experience, I fostered a truly positive and compassionate professional environment for my clients, through the support and mentorship of my cooperating supervisor. Through the application of time management, organization, discipline and consistent practice, my case management skills improved. My development both managing the daily processes within the nonprofit sector and planning and delivering effective assessments directly affected the future gains of my clients.
Through engaging in conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention, and evaluation and, critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment my clients could make significant gains in both supportive housing and desired outcomes. Besides housing gains, my clients also made substantial gains in resolving problems through self-determination.
I’m confident in my clients’ progress and my growth and development. I would not have the knowledge or skills I have today if it were not for my internship experience with my supervisor and other homeless organizations, and I look forward to where my career in social work takes me in the future.