In our 16-week semester program students have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in Social Work and intern with organizations involved in: advocacy, casework/direct service, counseling, social work administration, policy and planning, and research. TPC offers internships in a variety of settings such as schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, therapeutic nurseries, criminal court, substance abuse treatment centers and geriatric day programs. Examples of organizations where previous social work students have interned include the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center, the Defender Association, the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, the Pennsylvania Prison Society and Project H.O.M.E. to name a few.
A Social Work Story: Meagan Johnson, Spring 2012
With a love of history and an appreciation for diversity, Meagan Johnson chose to complete her senior fieldwork experience in Philadelphia during the spring 2012 semester. Social work majors at Hope College are required to complete a full-time internship as part of their degree requirements and The Philadelphia Center (TPC) is one option. As a student participating in TPC’s 16 week semester program Meagan gained real-world experience by living independently in the city, interning full-time at the Nationalities Service Center and enrolling in three seminars.
Initially a music major, Meagan switched to social work her sophomore year since that allowed her to concentrate on understanding social problems and work toward cultivating a greater experience for under-served and minority populations. Her drive to support diversity led Meagan to help launch Theta Gamma Pi at Hope, a sorority that helps to sustain a multicultural sisterhood active in the community through leadership and service. The sorority respects differences within their own group and also works to promote the growth of diversity on campus.
With a genuine interest in diverse populations, Meagan chose the Nationalities Service Center (NSC) as her field placement. The NSC is a non-profit organization that provides social, educational and legal services to refugees and asylees in the Greater Philadelphia area. Since NSC’s founding in 1921, it has helped 4,000 individuals from over 90 countries participate fully in American society.
Working alongside Jessica Libby, a resettlement case manager, Meagan learned about the process involved with helping refugees and immigrants find housing, obtain a social security card, pursue work and various other issues to assist refugees with assimilating to life in the United States. According to Libby, “Meagan has been a pleasure to work with. Her dedication and passion to assist our clients to the best of her ability has been evident from the start of her internship. She has been a crucial part of our team this semester to serve refugees and asylees in Philadelphia as they pursue a safe, healthy, and self-sufficient lifestyle in the US.”
“My internship allowed me to have a substantial learning experience by giving me a brief glimpse into the lives of a multitude of cultures that consider Philadelphia their home.” Her internship also allowed her to learn about various subfields with the larger structure of supporting immigrants and refugees. For example, she was able to attend a training sponsored by The Rainbow Welcome Initiative of the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights entitled “LGBT Refugees and Asylees: Responding to the Needs of a Hidden Population.”