While at Angels’ Cove, Smith and Bean were able to work with pregnant mothers in need.
“At first, it was a little overwhelming to go in there and work with all the girls, just one-on-one, but it’s been great,” Smith said. “I think it really opens my eyes to the individual needs in social work.”
Bean was also able to participate in policy writing for the agency’s international adoption program.
“It’s interesting to see all of the different aspects that actually go into adoption and a maternity home,” Bean said.
MVTHS has an SIUC intern for the first time this semester. Lyndsey Moore, a school social worker at the high school, said the intern, Kourtney Gimber, has helped out a great deal.
“It’s been nice having Kourtney to take on some of those kids who need some ongoing counseling who cannot get into services here in town,” Moore said. “It’s been great having an extra pair of hands.”
Misty Boyd, an intern for Cornerstone Family Counseling, said there is quite a difference between real world social work and what students learn in class.
“You can talk about things in a class, about how you’re supposed to handle these situations, but then when you really get someone in front of you telling you about years of abuse, I mean it’s completely different than just hearing about it in class,” Boyd said.
Connie Baker, field liaison for SIUC, said the School of Social Work interns are providing roughly 5,500 hours of community service to Mt. Vernon agencies this semester.
“It’s a really nice example of reciprocity where the agencies give a lot and they get a lot, and similarly the students both get and receive a lot as well,” Baker said.
Donoho said she would like to see more Mt. Vernon agencies take advantage of SIUC’s internship program.
Though it does take an investment of time to train the interns, the end result makes it all worthwhile, she said.
“You are helping them become the people that God’s created them to be,” Donoho said of the interns.