Class of 2010
My name is Claire and I am from Fort Wayne, IN. My senior placement is at Pierce Middle School in Merrillville, IN. I will be acting as a school social work intern. I will be involved in a group called ‘Lavender Girls’, which focuses on empowering young girls. My junior placement was at the Boys and Girls Club in Valparaiso, IN. Following graduation, I would like to serve internationally. I am looking into the Peace Corps and other similar opportunities. I would like to receive my MSW, possibly while studying abroad. My random fact: I am deathly afraid of mold!
Hi my name is Rachel! I am a senior social work major from Kent City, Michigan. This year I am doing my internship at Brothers Uplifting Brothers, Inc in Merrillville, IN. The focus of my internship is working with people who are HIV/AIDS positive in an urban, underserved, primarily African-American community. Currently, I am planning a Worlds Aids Day event for December 1, 2009. I am very excited about the opportunities I will have here throughout this year. For my junior field placement, I worked at Porter-Starke Services, a community mental health center. My primary focus was working with clients who had both addictions and mental health diagnoses, know as dual diagnosis. My future is yet to be determined, but I hope to do some sort of international work as I love traveling and meeting new people.
Hello! I am Lisa, from Grand Rapids MI, and I am majoring in Spanish as well as Social Work. My field placement this year is at Pines Village Retirement Community, here in Valparaiso. I am working with the resident services director so I will be involved in client and family assessments and running groups and programs for the residents. I also hope to be involved at the Banta Center, which is a community center for seniors in the area. My field placement last year was at PACT, which was in the criminal justice sector of practice, but my real interest is in gerontological social work. I hope that being at Pines Village this year will help me learn a lot about the elderly population and what kind of opportunities there are in that area.le.
Hi my name is Jeanette. I live in Chicago but was born in Los Angeles. My current field placement is at Spring Valley Center in Valparaiso, IN. My duties will include doing intakes, assessments and leading educational activities. I will also do case management with individual clients, supporting them in meetings their goals to transition back into a situation that includes having a home and sufficient resources (i.e. job training, healthcare, etc.) to maintain their home. My junior year placement was at Porter-Starke Services, a community mental health center. It was there that I discovered that I truly enjoy working in the field of mental health. As a result, I plan to further my education in mental health services.
Hello friends! I’m Amy, a senior Social Work major from Greenwood, Indiana. My senior field placement is with Porter Starke Services, a community mental health center. I’m really enjoying the experience and have observed some great professional social workers as I am being oriented to all of the agency’s services prior to choosing the one I will be working in for the year. I also had a great junior field placement that prepared me for my senior year. I spent the semester with Pines Village Retirement Communities where I focused more on the macro level of Social Work practice. In the future I plan to attend graduate school where I think I will focus on gerontological social work. After I obtain my masters, I hope to get a great job that I love. I’d be happy to share more details about my Social Work experience at Valpo with those who are interested.
Hello! My name is Julie. I am from Crest Hill, Illinois. This year my senior field placement is at Opportunity Enterprises in Valparaiso. At my agency I work with physically and mentally disabled individuals. Each day brings something new and completely different. One day I could be filing paper work, sitting in on meetings advocating for clients, and the next day I may be visiting clients’ homes, spending time with individuals on my caseload, or engaging in community integration activities. No matter what I do that day during field I always have an amazing time because helping the clients and seeing them smile is the best feeling in the world. My junior internship was at PACT working with substance abuse offenders. In the future I plan to go to graduate school and specialize in advocating for individuals who are disabled.
My name is Susana and I am from Chicago, Illinois. My senior field placement is to assist the Crisman Elementary School social worker. Crisman is located in Portage and is part of Portage Township Schools. My duties vary from day to day depending on student needs. My supervisor and I conduct grade level lessons on social skills and personal character goals that are crucial to the students’ healthy development. We also work one on one with a number of students who struggle with issues in school ranging from academic performance to self-esteem. For my junior placement I was placed at NISEC (Northern Indiana School Educational Co-op) working as an aid in a classroom. I worked directly with children with autism and other behavioral and sensory issues. That placement taught me the value of respect and dignity. In the future, I plan to attend graduate school in Chicago with a concentration in school social work. With my background in Social Work, I am certain I will be prepared for a demanding and rich career in the future.
Hi! My name is Jodi and I am a senior Social Work student from New Berlin, WI. My senior field placement is at Porter Starke Mental Health Services, here in Valparaiso. I am currently doing a rotation to look at the different services that Porter Starke provides. Eventually, I will choose a service area to stay for the year. I did my junior field placement in the Supported Living Department at Opportunity Enterprises. While I was there I really enjoyed interacting with the clients and learning from the staff that works there. After graduation I am planning on getting my MSW in the field of Mental Health. I have loved all the experiences I have had so far and would be more than willing to share them with anyone over a cup of coffee!
Hi, my name is Krissy. I am a senior social work major with a minor in psychology. I am from Warrenville, Illinois, which is a Western suburb of Chicago. This year my internship is at the Spring Valley Center in Valparaiso, IN. At this placement, I work with the different aspects of case management in dealing with homelessness. I hope that by the end of this experience, I will gain a more hands on knowledge about homelessness and case management and will develop increased confidence in myself. During my junior year, I interned at the Porter County Juvenile Detention Center in Valparaiso working with juveniles who are currently involved in the juvenile justice system. After I graduate, I plan to immediately go to graduate school somewhere in Illinois. My first choice would be the University of Illinois in Champagne. I am still debating whether or not I want to get my masters in school social work or in the field of family and social services.
A big heart-felt hello from me to all of you! My name is Angela and I am originally from a small town in Tennessee called Gleason. I am doing my Senior Internship at Shults-Lewis Child & Family Services located in Morgan Township. Let me tell you a little about what I will be doing at my internship. Shults-Lewis is a residential treatment facility for adolescents ages 13 – 18. There are both public placements and private placements. I will be engaging in group counseling as well as individual counseling. I will be leading some IPR (Inter-Personal Relationship) groups. I will attend Unit Process, an individual unit group where residents share any problems or issues they might have within the unit, with both their houseparents and counselor. I will attend weekly staffings, where the resident’s progress is discussed with the resident, counselor, houseparent, and the resident’s parents or guardian. I will also be attending various meetings such as counselor meetings, houseparent and counselor meetings, and school and counselor meetings. Last year my Junior Internship was at Opportunity Enterprises, an agency devoted to serving developmentally disabled consumers. Although it stretched my comfort level, I enjoyed my time there. Upon graduation, I am hoping to work in the field of mental health.
My name is Julie and I am from Zionsville, Indiana. I am doing my internship with Mario Rosa and the ESL (English as a Second Language) program at the Michigan City Area Schools. While at my internship, I will be teaching ESL students, writing grants, organizing community events, counseling parents, and mentoring students. My junior year internship was with the Boys and Girls Club in Portage and I am excited to build on the skills I learned there by continuing to work with children this year. I would like to work with children and/or minorities in the future after I wander around the world a bit and have enough adventures to satiate my thirst for traveling. This year I have been focusing on connecting students and families with community resources, while still encouraging client empowerment. Other internship activities include getting my van stuck between school buses and drinking coffee from coworkers' mugs and not cleaning them out when I'm done.
My name is Redrick, but most people call me Red (and no, that is not a reference to Morgan Freeman’s character on Shawshank Redemption.) I hail from the southside of Chicago, Illinois. I am doing my senior internship at the Boys and Girls Club in Valparaiso, Indiana. I am required to work with all the programs currently offered at the club like Link and Learn, the games room, physical education, and arts and crafts. Additionally, I will be responsible for leading the Torch Club and Passport to Manhood. Torch Club is a program geared towards pre-teens with the objective of inspiring them to become more civically engaged through community service and leadership. Passport to manhood is for male pre-teens. We will also do community service and leadership training. Additionally, we will dialogue about ways in which one can become a positive, respectable, upstanding man. I am still deciding what I would like to do after graduation. I will either attend graduate school for social work or law school. Whichever path I choose I hope to serve the needs of individuals in minority communities and inspire people everywhere to live the best life possible.
Class of 2009
My name is Colette. All of my life I have enjoyed working with children and being a positive part of their growth and development. Fortunately, I have the privilege of working with kids all year long! My internship is at two different elementary schools, South Haven and Crisman; both of these schools are within the Portage school district. I am working along side both of the school’s Social Workers; however, in the Portage schools they are referred to as Home School Advisors. I will be doing a variety of things ranging from working with kids one on one, to creating support groups for referred kids to be a part of, to leading programs in the classrooms. All these responsibilities are important in helping the kids. I am really excited to be a positive addition to the schools where kids can turn if they need help. It should be an enjoyable year filled with lots of learning and I am looking forward to all of the challenges it brings along the way!
Hello! My name is Kelly and my senior field placement is at Porter Starke Services. They offer comprehensive treatment programs to the community. For my first couple of weeks, I bounced around the different departments to get a feel for all of them. Addictions and children’s services are areas I have already observed. Other areas that I am interested in include community support services, inpatient and outpatient treatment, experiential therapy (also called Beyond Boundaries), and an alternative high school. Although I don’t know exactly where I’ll end up, I’m very excited about working at Porter Starke. No matter which area I work in, I know I’ll have great staff to observe me when I start leading groups myself. If you have any questions or are curious to find out where I end up, don’t hesitate to ask!
My name is Rebecca, and I am a proud senior social work student. This year I am doing my internship with Porter-Starke Services. This organization is dedicated to supporting and promoting mental health and substance abuse services to meet the needs of our community. Porter-Starke acts as an agent fro change to bring about, improve and maintain the emotional, physical, psychological and social health for individuals of all ages and their families. Throughout this year, I will be working with clients in individual and group settings to address issues of mental health and/or chemical dependency. For my junior level internship, I engaged with case managers at Porter County Alcohol and Drug Offenders Services to help clients make healthier life choices in regards to substance usage and to help the community reduce the recidivism rate for criminal behavior and substance abuse. These years have been a wild adventure, and I look forward to more to come!
My name is Shariliz and I am a senior majoring in Social Work and Spanish. For my junior year I interned at The Caring Place. There, I served victims of domestic violence. Currently, I am interning at PACT (Prisoners and Community Together) located in Valparaiso, IN. This agency serves offenders who are transferred here by order of the judge. It also serves people who are directly or indirectly affected by criminal justice system. Currently, I am shadowing staff while they are working with clients and performing other tasks. In the future, I will be working with clients directly. I enjoy interning here, as the agency addresses the needs of client at a micro level but also a macro level.
Hello! I am Karen, a social worker with a passion for children ages 0-5! While my focus has shifted as the years progress, I am currently quite taken with my internship at Mental Health America of Lake County. While there, I participate in the Girls’ Inc., provides curriculum to schools, Girl Scout troops and other groups on issues such as sex education, self-defense, stress management, and peer pressure. Healthy families’ strengths based approach seeks to prevent child abuse through intensive home visiting services with families identified as “at-risk”. The S.T.E.P. classes (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) seek to provide parents and caregivers with child development information, and skills to work with their children. Overall, Mental Health America’s programs combine my love of young children and families with the strengths based approach of Social Work.
Hi, my name is Whitney and I am a Social Work major with an individualized minor in dance. For my senior field placement, I am fortunate enough to work very near to campus at Porter Hospital! I am so excited for the chance to work with a medical social worker and help anyone with a medical condition who also needs Social Service support. As a medical social worker intern, I assist with a lot of brokering which is my favorite type of social work. Each day at the hospital is unique and I am guaranteed to have a new situation to help with and new patient support. So far I have assisted with nursing home patients, participated in NICU meetings, found clients shelters to live in after their discharge and have also participated in interdisciplinary meeting with the Case Managers. But the possibilities are extremely broad for what my future roles could be. There are so many opportunities at my fingertips at Porter and each situation depends on the needs of the clients. I look forward to every new day as a medical social work intern and am anxious to help the hospital patients any way I can!
My name is Shannon and I am interning at Merriville High School this year under the supervision of Danny Lackey. Merriville High School is a very diverse school; about 50% African-America, 25% Hispanic, 24% White and 1% other ethnicities. My job as a social work intern is to meet with students to discuss how they are handling school work, family issues, and relationship and friendship issues. I meet with new students to make sure that their transition to MHS has been smooth overall and I help students deal with emotional issues such as grief, divorce, arguments and other traumas. I am also actively participating in the STAND (Socially Together and Naturally Diverse) club whenever I can. STAND teachers the students and faculty about diversity and acceptance through programs and events throughout the year. I am very excited about the opportunity to work at Merriville High School this year! If you are interested about learning more about my experience, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Class of 2008
I'm Amanda. I am interning at Crisman Elementary School in Portage as a Home School Advisor. I give classroom presentations and help counsel children. My supervisor has given me encouragement and direction. I'm grateful for this opportunity to intern as I aspire to learn strong leadership and organizational skills and to have the chance to apply my learning to work with people.. My goal as a home School Advisor is to practice ethically and professionally. My dream job is to be a Social Worker for Riley's Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Class of 2007
Hello! My name is Sarah and I am originally from Lomard, Illinois, which is directly west of Chicago. I am doing my senior internship at Merriville High School! I am working in conjunction with the guidance department and meet with students who are having difficulty in school or at home. In the spring semester, I will have the opportunity to run a GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trans-sexual) group. This internship will give me experience working one-on-one with clients, facilitating and running a group, and most importantly practicing in using interviewing techniques. I really enjoy the diversity at Merriville and the overall atmosphere of the school. I am excited to see what the year will offer. Go Pirates!
Hi! My name is Kelly and I am a senior social work major from Hammond, IN. I am currently completing my internship at Kennedy King Elementary School in Gary, Indiana. I am enjoying my experience as well as the setting! I will be leading groups, implementing classroom programs, and working with students individually. I have the opportunity to work with Kennedy King’s school social worker and school counselor; I even have my own desk! I am very excited to work with the students and the teachers throughout the year! My junior placement was at the Valparaiso Boys and Girls Club, which was also an enjoyable experience! Let me know if you have any questions about my placements!
Hi! I’m Rachel and I’m a senior Social Work and Spanish major. This year my field placement is at Greenwich House. The Greenwich House is a residential treatment facility, located right off campus that can house up to seven women with mental illness. I work closely with the program director and often times independently to develop goals and treatment plans, do case management, compile the history of the client, and eventually lead group sessions. Mental health is a very interesting field, and there is always something new to learn. I think that this placement will give me such a great opportunity to use a wide variety of skills and have to really work directly with clients. This field placement is definitely giving me exposure to a new aspect of social work; my junior field placement was in the Michigan City Area Schools working with the English as a Second Language program. There, I was able to use some of my Spanish skills to work with the students and parents and link them with the needed resources. I also have experiences working in an orphanage for children who were victims of domestic violence, when I was abroad in Peublo, Mexico. I’ve really loved all of my field placement experiences, and I’d be happy to tell you more about any of them.
My name is Kelly. I’m from Merriville which is about 25 minute’s wets of Valparaiso. For my senior internship, I have a great opportunity to intern as a CASA. A CASA is a Court Appointed Special Advocate. It is a volunteer service for children that have been abused and are in need of services. A CASA serves as a voice for the child in court so that the child doesn’t have to be additionally distressed by the court process. CASA’s are based out of the Youth and Family Services Bureau in Portage. It is an amazing process and makes an impact on the children that we serve. YOU can volunteer to help without having you intern there.
Hi! My name is Audrey and I am a Social Work major this year. I am placed at the Crisis Center/Alternative House in Gary, IN where I am learning a great deal about the homeless and runaway youth. I spent last semester studying in Nambia, Africa where I interned at Ombili Bridging School teaching HIV/AIDS awareness and art classes to vulnerable youth and children. I chose social work as my major due to my love for children and the helping process!
Hi ALL! My name is Sarah and for my senior field placement I am interning at Harbor Light Hospice out of Merriville. Hospices are about providing comfort (physical, emotional, spiritual) to individuals who have been diagnosed as having six months of less to live, as well as their families. My supervisor, Sharon Orenick, has a very personal style of supervision which allows me to share myself and my needs, while at the same time setting up many “teaching moments” where she and I can talk about what social work skills I am using and what skills I need to master. I will eventually have my own case load and work independently with individual patients and their families, as well as have opportunities to provide in-service training to an interdisciplinary team and work with a support group in a therapeutic way. I love to talk and reflect on my experience and hear from other students about what they are learning. So if you need a listening ear, have a question about Hospice, or have questions about how to pick a senior field placement, feel free to get in touch.
Hi! My name is Erin and I am doing my senior internship at Christian Haven, which is a residential facility for kids located in Wheatfield, IN. I am working in the Odyssey program, which is a locked unit for teenagers from about 15-18 years old. The residents suffer from various mental illnesses and family problems, and are all at Christian Haven by a court order. I am really excited about my placement because I think that I will get to do a lot of things and learn from a lot from working with this population. For my junior internship, I was placed at Edgewater Systems for Balanced Living in Gary, IN. I was working in the youth and family division. After I graduate, I am planning to go right to graduate school to get my Master’s degree in Social Work. I hope to do this at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
My name is Sean and I am doing my senior placement at Porter Starke. Porter Starke is the local community mental health facility. This agency works with a great deal of different populations. In my first few weeks, I have worked on a challenge course with a local sixth grade class, observed intensive out-patient adult addiction, duel diagnosis, and chronic mental illness groups, worked in the alternative school, and been to staffing at St. Anthony’s (a mental health hospital). Currently, I am unsure of where I will settle down at the agency, but I am enjoying the opportunity to learn about all different types of mental illness.