Editor’s Note: We asked a few of our graduating seniors to tell us about their experiences with the UM-Flint Social Work Program. Here’s what Quianee Felton had to say:
When I first started the University of Michigan-Flint BSW Program, I didn’t know a lot of people. The social work staff is amazing and made me feel welcome. They’re a very good support system. They make sure we have what we need as far as the knowledge, support, guidance, and answers to any question we may have. The program’s strengths-finder assessment helped me to see my strengths and how I can help my clients to see their strengths. It increased my self-awareness. It’s so important in this field to be aware of yourself and the impact you make on other people with the things you say.
In my field placement at Swartz Creek schools, I learned a lot about disabilities, emotional impairments, ADHD, autism, and other special needs that children have. I was placed in a field internship where I was always assessing kids. The social work program helped me to assess the child and give them what they need, like helping them handle different sensory issues and develop problem-solving and social skills. I worked with children at the early childhood, elementary, and high school levels.
In the program and through my field work, I learned patience and how to help children or clients understand what we’re trying to get across to them to help them. They’re the experts of their own lives and of what they need. We’re basically helping them with resources and educating them on important life skills. I also met with parents and family members so that everybody can work toward the same goal to help their child. There was definitely a lot of teaching involved in my field experience.
I plan to pursue my graduate degree in social work. I also have prior experience as a CNA working with elderly people in home health, and I haven’t decided yet if I want to work with children or in geriatrics. With this profession, you have to have a lot of patience and understanding of different personalities and different ways of life, and you have to empathize with others. Social work is all about team work and partnering with other professionals. You can really grow in this field, and this program will prepare you for it.
For information about the BSW Program at UM-Flint visit: www.umflint.edu/socialwork