Friday, March 27, 2015

Jereese Wilson, Intern at Richland Newhope

Jereese Wilson is an intern at Richland Newhope – Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities. This organization is dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities to live, work, and participate in the community. Richland Newhope works with people and their families to enrich the lives of the developmentally disabled.

Tell us a little bit about your internship placement.
This semester I have had the unique experience of being able to work in three areas of the same agency. I am placed in the Service and Support Administration (SSA), Help Me Grow (HMG) at the Early Childhood Center, and also at two of the Richland Newhope Industry workshops on 4th Street and on Longview Ave. Although these are only a few areas under the umbrella of the County Board, in my short time working in these various parts of the agency, it is clear that they really cater toward the needs of the individual person. They serve to support both children and adults through various programs, support services and funding sources.

What are your job duties at your internship?  What sorts of activities have you been involved in?
Since I have been involved in so many different parts of the agency, I have had the opportunity to have a variety of experiences. In the SSA building, I work alongside the Individual Consultants to help the individual create plans centered on their specific needs. I have had the opportunity to build a case load, go on home visits, plan meetings, and to research and provide services. Another activity that I am involved in in the SSA building is the Major Unusual Incidences (MUI) department. In this department I work with the Investigative agents to help investigate and track incidents involving Richland county residents who receive our services. For my macro project, I was able to work on the 2014 Major Unusual Incident Annual Review. It was essentially a 20 page report that compiled all of the data from last year. As a result of my work, I was able to help present some of the information with my supervisor. Although I was a bit nervous about sitting in a room full of supervisors and department heads, it was a great experience and I was so thankful to be a part of it.

In the HMG department I had the opportunity to work with the service coordinators. I was able to help interview potential parents of the program, with the help of my supervisors, using assessment forms and to provide input to the early intervention team. After eligibility was determined based on the initial assessment, I was able to follow the children as they progressed and provide additional information to the family that may be helpful to them. My supervisors made me feel comfortable with the assessment forms and how the system was organized. I was even able to complete some of the process on my own.

At the workshop, I was able to help individuals strive toward the goal of community employment. Richland Newhope is currently providing job training skills, new community employment opportunities, and job readiness programs to help individuals become more involved in the community. The adult services department has so much to offer individuals. Between helping with the community employment activities and learning more about the job readiness programs, I had the opportunities to get to know more about the individuals and the hard work they do in the workshop every day.

How has Ashland University’s Social Work Program prepared you for your internship?
The Social Work program at Ashland University has done an amazing job preparing me for my internship. In my undergraduate years, prior to my internship experience, I did not realize how much of each class that I would actually need to utilize. There really is a method and a clear thought behind every pre-requisite class that is required before entering into this program (even statistics!) and they were well worth it. I’m so thankful for the education I received from this program and for every professor who took the time to prepare me not only for my internship, but for my future in the social work profession.

What have you enjoyed most about your internship so far?
Honestly it is hard to pinpoint one specific thing that I have enjoyed so far because the whole experience has been wonderful. I love all of the information that I am gaining through this experience. I also love the fact that I am in an agency that is willing to accept some of my thoughts and ideas. Getting to work with the individuals, go to trainings with the staff, and learning the different programs and services offered to people in Richland County are things that can help me throughout my career. I am thankful for having the experience.

For more information about Richland Newhope, please visit their website.
For more information about Ashland University’s Social Work Department, please visit their website.

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