Melissa Lewis: On the Summer Institute

MSW Student Melissa Lewis shares her recent experience in the Summer Institut

The Summer Institute was a great opportunity that helped drive home the principles I have learned during my social work education. Throughout my social work education, I have learned about the importance of collaboration within service delivery and that this collaboration allows us to help clients in a holistic way. The SI drove home these concepts by offering real experiences that opened my eyes to this concept in theory and action. Through activities such as talking to a panel composed of an interdisciplinary team and interviewing clients within the community, I was able to get a look into how we as future service providers, can continue to expand the interdisciplinary approach. I was able to start building relationships with future professionals from various paths of study and I began to link my learning to what my role might be in health care in the future.

It was truly impactful to experience many of the activities that allowed me to see into the lives of vulnerable populations. Regardless of degree path or life experience, each of us in the SI experienced these things together and it moved me. It moved me because we were able to hear the perspectives of others and rely on each other's contributions during a time of vulnerability. I saw people making connections and developing new ideas about how they could truly make an impact on those within our community, whether it was through the service learning or during the poverty simulation. It also was impactful to see others develop a deeper level of empathy as they genuinely looked, listened and experienced.

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