Maria’s Internship

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It is hard to talk about growth and experience without discussing my early life as well. I was the second oldest child in my family to pursue a college degree. My father passed away when I was very young, and my mother had a difficult time raising four children by herself. Consequently, I went to live with my aunt from the age of three until I was thirteen. When I did see my mother, I often remember her helping friends and family with difficult problems. She has a generous personality and I look up to her as a shining example for me to emulate.

When I started my internship at Family Solutions, part of my learning objective was to observe the client’s transitions at the house, learn the intake process, the service plans, and medications. Later on I learned therapeutic boundaries, and I have had the opportunity to do individual counseling with some of the girls at the group home as well. These processes have become clearer to me over time. For example, to assist others, a good helper should be able to tune in to their client’s beliefs and values, even if they may not agree with their own personal views. However, the helper must be careful to avoid getting the client out of their comfort zone, such as by asking questions that could confuse them and bring them to an existential crisis.

I feel that I am obligated to use my talents in a constructive manner, one that benefits society. Truly, working at Family Solutions gives me the unique opportunity to express my talents and in so doing benefit human life. I have been diligent in my pursuit of a career in service work because I am convinced that this field offers me the opportunity to live a fulfilling, rewarding life dedicated to helping others.

So far, I have learned that the helper-client relationship requires continuous effort to keep it alive and strengthened. For this to happen, the helper cannot belittle the client’s life experience and expectations. He/she should assume a role of permanent concern and attention to all the daily transformations a client makes, because they influence how the client can engage in their activities/occupations and affect health and performance.

I believe that my family values have influenced my desire to become a helper. Also, I think that the courage to try something new is learned behavior from observing my parents. Despite many setbacks, we still remain together as a happy fusion family. I have always respected my parents for showing me that it is never too late to try something new! I believe that through their example they instilled the confidence in me to pursue my goal of becoming a social service provider.

In conclusion, good results lead me to believe that everything that I have been learning in classes and at Family Solutions, as well as in my own life experiences, have all been very helpful in developing my ability to help others. I will continue to improve my growth in this field and build on my strengths to become a more effective provider.

In addition, I gained the knowledge and understanding that human nature leads to the awareness that all individuals have the potential to learn. Through empathic communication, Family Solutions staff act as facilitators for learning how the client can change or even improve the results of the interventions, thereby making a real and profound difference in their lives.

I sincerely appreciate your time and attention in reading and considering me as a part of the Family Solutions Team.

Maria Raskin

Maria submitted the foregoing essay to be considered for the Ford Foundation Scholarship. She was awarded the Ford Foundation Scholarship primarily due to the work she has done in the Family Solutions Group Homes. Group Home Supervisor, April Waggoner saw the potential in Maria and offered her an internship under her supervision. During Maria’s second interview for the Ford Foundation Scholarship, she was redirected back on several occasions to her work experience within Family Solutions. The individuals that conducted the interview found Maria’s dedication to the field of service through her experience at Family Solutions compelling enough to award her the Ford Foundation Scholarship.
 
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