Updated: Feb 28, 2022
What school/program are you in?
I am a Master of Social Work student at the University of Minnesota.
What interested you in interning at Sojourner?
I was interested in the opportunity to learn more about domestic violence and intimate partner violence as it is something we don’t normally talk about in our communities. I wanted to work with those who have experienced domestic violence and walk alongside them as they find their voice again after being silenced in their relationship. I also wanted to be a part of prevention work within the community and plant the seeds for future healthy relationships.
What background/experience do you bring with you to the role?
For the last two years, I have worked at St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development. I have had the opportunity to work with preschool-aged children in a day treatment setting. The children have experienced trauma and/or have developmental delays and we work with them to grow their socio-emotional skills as well as meet them where they are at with their attachment needs. I have also had the opportunity to be a youth and family advocate at Tubman, another domestic violence shelter and center, and spend time with youth that were in shelter at the time. With these two experiences, I come to this internship with knowledge about children and trauma. Both how trauma can show up in our bodies and in our behaviors in a variety of ways and how trauma can impact family systems in different forms.
What have you enjoyed or learned so far at Sojourner?
One of my responsibilities at Sojourner Project is to co-facilitate a support group for women who have experienced domestic violence. Since the first group I joined, I have felt how powerful the group is and that power comes from the women sharing their experiences and supporting each other. Abusers often attempt to isolate their partners and this group is the opposite of that isolation, it is a coming together and a sharing of experiences. The support group has shown me how important community support is and the power of a group of people coming together to share their stories.
How do you hope to use this experience in the future?
I have learned a great deal through my work at Sojourner Project. I have not only learned and continue to learn about domestic violence, prevention work in the community, and advocacy work but I am also learning about myself within these settings. I will most likely go on to work with children who have experienced trauma and some of that trauma will include domestic violence. I hope to bring my knowledge of domestic violence, the patterns and behaviors associated with DV and resources that may be available, to serve the children and families I will work with. I know that the information and skills I have learned in this internship will be applicable across all domains of social work and life as I will continue to be an advocate for anyone who needs someone by their side.