During Fall 2015, Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center was lucky to have Maggie Botts, a Social Work student from Miami University, as an intern through the Miami University’s Center for Community Engagement in Over-the-Rhine’s Residency Program. Maggie shares her own words about the experience:
My internship at the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC) was my favorite part of my social work program at Miami University. This was a place where I could put the skills I have learned into use, while also learning much more out of the classroom. I felt like this was truly a position that I was able to grow into and learn as much as I was willing to learn. Macro social work is all about changing the larger systems, and that is what IJPC is working towards but in that same space they also have such a small and close feeling. The staff was so kind, personable and treated their interns like a real part of their team. I learned something new every day from different members of the team who all held different skills. Allison spent a great deal of time with me to ensure that everything was always going smoothly and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Mel made sure that I learned the practical skills that an undergrad Social Work student might not get in class. Andrea let me be her righthand girl and always tag along to get some out of the office experience as well. The whole team took me in and gave me the practice that college courses alone can’t provide.
Looking back on my work, I can see that in the 3 months I was interning I accomplished quite a bit. I went on a 7 day walk to stop executions, made a short video documenting the walk, took action in legislative efforts, gathered research on family support groups, and helped organize many events. All of these tasks alone might not be specific to social work but the way IJPC works on them truly is social work. The organization taught me how to use my skills in all areas of the job. You can use reflective listening in a meeting the same way you might use it in a clinical setting. Just like you can apply the social work ethics and guidelines to all scenarios in your workplace. I’m sad that my internship experience at IJPC is over, but I’m grateful that now my general volunteering with them is just starting.