As our community organizers work with residents on leadership development, they often encounter immediate challenges that they do not have the capacity to address. We have long wanted to find a new solution to enhance our ability to provide referrals and support for these kind of vital needs.
In 2011 Mutual Housing connected with the Social Work Department at CSU Sacramento to become a field placement site for senior undergraduates and graduate students looking for practical internship experience.
Our first set of interns – Tiffany Guerra, Anna Yang and Griselda Cancino – recently finished their full academic year placements with us and we could not be more pleased with the positive contributions they made to our work efforts.
These social work interns engaged many of our residents in designing and implementing solutions to their own life challenges. Thus equipped, these residents have been better able to engage with our community building and organizing work.
Here are our interns’ thoughts about their experiences:
“When I first heard about this field placement, I knew that it was where I needed to be. From the first day, I was treated like a member of the team and not just another intern. I was able to experience all levels of social work: micro, meso and macro, just by working at one of Mutual Housing’s 16 properties. The Lead Organizer, MSW supervisor and many other members of the team were able to help shape and mold my learning process in the MSW program. I am grateful for the experience I had with my clients and the relationships I have formed this year. I have no doubt that this placement will help me in the field of social work for years to come.” -Tiffany Guerra
“Mutual Housing gave me the oportunity to work with multi-cultural clients, and I was able to gain experince in a wide variety of problems that the clients encounter. The experience that one encounters while interning at Mutual Housing is very rewarding, because you are able to work in the client’s natural setting and this makes you able to have a much closer and open relationship with the clients and you are able to see their progress week by week. Also, the staff at Mutual Housing are very frinedly and helpful. It was definitely a pleasure to intern at Mutual Housing, and the knowledge and experience I gained will come a long way for me.” -Griselda Cancino
“It was challenging working at Mutual Housing as an intern, but rewarding when the time was over. This internship definitely pushed me to work and react differently than should I have been working somewhere else. You’ll definitely learn a lot about being disadvantaged by being in their territory, and you will think twice about ‘traditional views of social work’. My advice, remember to keep an open mind, you’ll definitely learn more than you’ll either want or expect.” -Anna Yang
Thank you to all of our hard-working social work interns!