Over the course of Real Life of an MSW I have been asked about my tagline “Build more bridges than walls.” I was even informed I may want to change it when the current occupants of the white house took over in 2017. I refused to, as I am firm believer that you stand for something or you will fall for any and everything. Looking through my tomb of clinical evaluations, I knew this tag line was me, but seeing it in print and in action I know it is my purpose.
Student’s overall self-assessment of learning this quarter I was given the opportunity to work with ________ outreach team. We were invited to the West Precinct Police Station/Human Service Providers forum to speak to officers and service providers about the type of work ________ does, as well as help dispel some of the myths about youth homelessness. In addition to this, I hosted an informal gathering this quarter to bring youth together to talk about how they are surviving and thriving on the streets (sharing information between the youth can help them all to better survive). This was a safe gathering space that also allowed me to learn more about young adult services throughout the community.
Practicum instructor evaluation of student’s overall self-assessment of learning this quarter. ________ has taken great initiatives to promote social justice within the systems we work in and work towards the empowerment of the young people we serve. She has taken many opportunities to have young people actively participate in the development of programs by sharing their ideas, needs, concerns, desires, etc. ________ is very mindful of how our young people may be experiencing oppression from the world around them and how to change our practice to promote social justice and behavioral and social change. I appreciate that ________ has included the youths’ voices in continuing to develop our programs and educating others about youth homelessness.
I appreciated my practicum instructors’ feedback, but it bothered me that before I came along the agency was “acting” on the youths’ behalf, but not asking and including the voice of the youth. Young people need to have some kind of political analysis to deal with the world. Leaders of organizations need to convey the broader social context of the organization’s work by sharing the social history behind it. Young people need to analyze and critique the patterns and learn together about what actions may be possible for change. This connects their own places to the larger social world. Young people have a right to be involved in things about their lives. Youth don’t have all the answers, but half of their elders don’t either.