Social work interns help students in advocacy center

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Information shared is kept confidential.

By Andrea Moreno

Ten social work interns from Texas State University, the University of Texas at San Antonio and Our Lady of the lake universities are available in the advocacy center to help students at this college.

Their services vary according to the needs of students who visit the center, said Cynthia Williams, intern who is studying for a master’s degree in social work at OLLU.

“Just come in. We will see if we can help or we will know who can,” Williams said Feb. 28 in an interview.

The interns help students, faculty or staff who need food, clothing, utility assistance, references for child care or housing, assistance in filling out applications for a food bank or public assistance programs and book vouchers.

For example, interns provide information, refer students to outside agencies or allow students to access the food, clothing and toiletries available in the advocacy center.

The interns will find a way to help individuals solve their problems.

Some situations interns have helped others with the rental of homes or apartments.

Jose Ramirez, intern who is studying for a master’s degree in social work at OLLU, said there are times when students need a new home within a short amount of time and the interns will help look for a new one at a good price for the student.

While dealing with those types of situations, the interns ask if the individual needs something else, such as food or clothing.

When individuals seek assistance from the advocacy center, interns are the first person they see.

“We greet them, and we tell them what they can do,” Ramirez said.

 The interns ask individuals to fill a form explaining if the situation needs to be taken care of now or later, he said.

“We tell them that all information is confidential and will stay between us and the individual,” Ramirez said.

Social work majors are required to have internships.

“It’s required to graduate at Our Lady of the Lake to have 450 intern hours,” Ramirez said.

Social work Coordinator Lisa Black oversees the interns.

The advocacy center is in Room 323 of Center Academic Center and is open 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-1 p.m. the first Saturday of the month.


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