Student Feature || Penny Fellowship Recipient Nasra Farah
written by | Nasra Farah - Saint Cloud State University
In the Fall of 2018, I did my internship that I was required to finish 480 hours to obtain my social work degree. That is 32 to 40 hours a week. I was also taking classes at the same time. Therefore, I was supposed to spare time to do my assignment. As a student who has no family or any support system around, I also have an obligation to work and pay for my bills. I was so blessed to receive the fellowship scholarship which has lightened my financial burden. I work less because I did not have to pay for my classes out of pocket. I was provided an opportunity to do my internship with a domestic violence agency in Saint Cloud Area.
Anna Marries Alliance is a domestic violence agency that provides legal advice to women who have experienced domestic violence, provide shelter to women and children who are in danger of domestic violence. In addition, the agency collaborates with different agencies to educate the communities. I held two different positions while I was doing my internship. One I was a criminal justice advocate, I helped women to file for an order for protection, other legal document and I also attended the court hearing if I was needed to. The second position I was education and prevention advocate. My responsibility was to go to different schools and teach young children between age 5 and 15 about preventing violence and having healthy relationships and friendship.
My perspective post internship
One aspect that I have changed or never understood is the way professional workers serve their clients. For example, I have experienced two different ways professional workers act with their client. First one is when the professional worker is ready to assist the client with whatever they need. For example, providing information or help a client fill out paperwork and leave. The professional helping the client with whatever brought them to the agency.
The second one is a professional worker having a connection with the client. Building a professional relationship with the client. For example, women who were served at the agency have been through trauma and distress. Having a relationship creates empathy. Something that we do not learn in College. A very important aspect when working with people who have experienced trauma. Also, building a professional relationship help the professional worker to listen to the client story and identify the client strength.