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The Human Services

Internship E- Portfolio
BRITTANY D. MINGO
AHS 8100: GUIDED PRACTICUM
Chapter One: Getting Started

As I begin my internship with United Way of Delaware, I would say that my


personal statement is to remain teachable, always be willing, and work
hard. Coming into this internship, I am anxious . I want to learn as much as
possible while also showing myself to be an asset to the organization. I am
most interested in learning and gaining more skills in project management
on a large scale, corporate level. Entering into the internship, I am
assessing my strengths and weaknesses. Key strengths that I possess are
administrative skills, written and oral communication skills, and creating
and designing program ideas. Areas for growth and opportunity for me are
time management, paralysis from self-doubt, and prioritizing. I am excited
about all aspects of my learning plan: I am very interested in creating an
inaugural newsletter for the Women United affinity group and helping to
plan the culminating events for the My Very Own Library initiative. Both jobs
will present some challenges, as most assignments do. Nevertheless, I feel
confident that I will be able to work through the challenges to produce good
results.
Chapter Two: Getting Acquainted

I have learned a lot about the context in which United Way of Delaware serves the state of
Delaware. The organizations work is informed by their three strategies: Third Grade Literacy,
College Preparation and Access and Financial Stability. United Way does not serve the
community through direct service, instead, the organization partners with other nonprofits
throughout the state providing financial and programmatic resources in order to best serve the
residents of Delaware.
Chapter Three: Developing Ethical Competence

It was the day before Christmas in 2014. I called my client to make sure that she was okay. Normally, I would see her on
Thursdays, however I had to push back my visit for that present week due to the holiday but, I wanted to make sure that
she would be okay. When she answered, I immediately knew that something was wrong. I asked her to tell me why she
sounded unusually sad and she shared that there was no food in her refrigerator. This instantly pulled at my heart. My
client was a bed ridden , elderly woman who was taking care of five grandchildren. I immediately began to think of how
to get food to her and the children. I reached out to my supervisor, she asked me Well what are we supposed to do, its
the end of the day and we are about to leave. I was shocked by her response. She did not care and was more concerned
with leaving than she was with making sure our participant had food. She would not even call the owners to see if I could
get an emergency waiver to purchase food for my clients and asked me Do you have money ? Its Christmas, do you
have money? In fact, I did not have a lot but I had some and when I called my mom to tell her what happened, she said
shed help me buy them food. I left the office and picked up groceries with my mother and delivered them to my client. I
never told the client that it was my personal money, I told her there was a donation that I found after doing research. For
me this challenged my ethics because I truly believed that no matter what, I am responsible for making sure my clients
basic needs were met. Event though technically it was not my job to stock the refrigerator, technically I felt like from
one human to another, when I knew of a need that needed to be met, and I knew that I could meet it, it became my
responsibility to help someone in need.
Chapter Four: Integrative Process Model

The Integrative Processing Model describes a learning cycle that builds upon existing
knowledge about how experiential learning occurs (Kiser 2016). As an intern, it calls upon
you, as a field work student, to draw upon many components of yourself and your knowledge
as well as on multiple ways of thinking to extract maximum learning and meaning from your
experiences (Kiser 2016). The Integrative Processing Model is comprised of six steps: 1)
Gathering from Concrete Experiences 2) Reflecting 3) Identifying Relevant Knowledge 4)
Examining Dissonance 5) Articulate Learning and 6) Developing a Plan.
The step that I feel I best represent in my work is Step 3) Identifying Relevant Knowledge. This
step calls for individuals to be able to have the ability to transfer and synthesize knowledge of
theory and praxis. Overall in life, I like to learn about theories and how they sync with the real
world. When I am working, having conversations or simply reading, I find that my mind is often
digesting information while simultaneously identifying and recalling theories or information that
relates to the situation at hand. I am grateful to think in this way because I believe it helps me
serve as an effective human service worker and intern. When approaching situations, I come
with many different insights based on knowledge that I already have or, because I am addicted
to using google and researching to figure out if there is any other information valuable or
conducive to solving the issues at hand, or understanding the person or people who I am
interacting with.
Having the ability to synthesis theory and experience is an important skill that human service
workers must possess. While theory can provide a framework and best practices, it is important
to know that experience can often times prove that theories are not one size fit all for
situations we encounter. Being able to understand this has helped me tremendously in my line
of work.
Kiser, P. M. (2016). The Human Service Internship: Getting the Most from Your Experience.
Australia: Cengage Learning.
Chapter Five: Using Supervision

From my internship, I learned that I need a supervisor who is warm, with


high expectations and who is willing and available to help you develop in
order to meet their expectations. What I appreciate most about Jamee,
Rita and Orrin is that they each have assigned me with tasks and
expected quality work but they have also each always made themselves
available to me to answer questions, provide clarifications and give
suggestions. My experience with each of them has taught me that I also
need a supervisor who clearly sets expectations for results but allows me
the freedom to decide how I will go about achieving my goals. Their
leadership styles mimic the leadership style of my current supervisor in
my professional job. This is why my workplace is enjoyable and we are
able to be highly productive in our work as a team. Looking back, I
realize that supervisors who have operated opposite of this leadership
style tend to frustrate me and lose my commitment and respect.
Chapter Six: Communicating in Your Internship

During my internship I have been able to engage the community through


the My Very Own Library program and various reading initiatives such as
Reading Angels; I have also been able to engage volunteers via direct
contact whether it be in person or over the phone.
Through the My Very Own Library program and Reading Angels, I have been
able to interact with children as we promote 3rd grade literacy.

My experience with each form of communication is fairly the same. My


comfortability however is not. I hate using the phone as the initial point of
contact with individuals. As an intern, I have had to do this a lot. Most times,
people are not as receptive to being engaged over the phone.

Overall, no matter which form of communication, I have found that it helps


to exude and maintain a positive spirit, actively listen and develop a sense
of empathy for individuals. When people sense these three attributes in your
communication, they tend to warm up to you and it makes the interaction
run smoothly.
Chapter Seven: Developing Cultural Competence

United Way of Delaware services the entire state of Delaware; inadvertently, this means that the organization services a myriad of cultures. During my time
as an intern, the starkest difference in culture has been difference in economic and educational background of the students and families that I serve through
my assignments and that United Way of Delaware serves through its My Very Own Library Initiative. The greatest insight that I have gained about my own
family culture is how extremely blessed I am to be able to have been afforded the childhood that I experienced.

Working with My Very Own Library has allowed me to gain awareness of the effects of family income and parent educational achievement on childrens
educational success. Much of the My Very Own Library program has to think about ways to engage and cater to parents who are not necessarily able to help
their children develop literacy at the appropriate level for their age group. To be fair, it is not because parents do not want to see their child succeed, most
times it is because parents themselves do not have the means to ensure it on their own. The greatest cultural challenge for me has been trying to figure out
how to change the mindset of individuals who do not necessarily prioritize education in the home in relation to other things. It becomes frustrating for me
because if a child develops a love for reading or the desire to conquer illiteracy but, their parent does not reinforce that desire then we run the risk of a child
never reaching their fullest potential.

I assess my ability to work with cultural mindsets that differ from my own by measuring my ability and attempt to suspend judgement on people. When
working with parents and adults regarding their childs education, I try to look at all of the factors in place that may prevent a parent from operating at the
level that I, or others believe that they should be.

In order to develop further skills in working with diverse populations, would like to start building personal relationships, which move beyond the surface, with
more individuals who are different than me. This way, I can begin to learn about people not for the purposes of simply helping them because it is my job but,
to know who they are as people and connect on a basic human level.
Chapter Eight: Writing and Reporting
Within Your Field Agency
Chapter Nine: Taking Care of Yourself

My internship experience at United Way of Delaware, during Spring 2017, has taught me a lot about the source of my stress, the ways
that I handle stress and the things that I need to do in order to take care of myself. The first step in learning about the sources of stress
requires self- awareness. According to Kiser, "...the most fundamental skillin taking care of yourself is self- awareness because it
enables you simply recognize your feelings as they occur. Noticing and honestly acknowledging your feelings, reactions, thoughts and
behaviors is the first step in confronting and dealing with your emotions in a positive, professional manner (2016)." For me, taking a
seat back assessing and developing self- awareness as towhy I felt stressed in the beginning of my internship experience not only
helped me identify the sources but, also helped me to create a plan to manage my stress overall. A major source of my stress came
from enrolling into 4 courses and an internship while having a full-time job, serving in leadership at church and starting my own non-
profit. Stress was present simply because I gave myself far too many responsibilities in such a short time frame and set the expectation
of excellence in carrying out each commitment; I overcommitted myself. This fact gave insight into what elicits stress in my life, I always
sign up for too many things at once. Kiser calls this, self-imposed stress or, internal stressors (2016). In order to avoid stressing myself, I
need to learn how to plan my life accordingly. Even though I am interested in participating in many things, it is not helpful to stretch
myself thin. More so, at this period in my life, I was more anxious about graduating than considering the impact taking on multiple task
would have on me. To maintain healthy boundaries in my personal and professional life, I must stop taking responsibility for things that
will cause me to have to work during my out of office time for either my internship or job. During the times that I cannot escape
Chapter Ten: Ending the Internship

I am beyond grateful for my internship experience with United Way of Delaware. My site supervisor kept her promise. In the beginning,
Jamee stated that she wanted to make sure that while I interned for the organization, the relationship was mutually beneficial. She asked
me what my interest were and said that she would make sure that I was involved in meetings, events and projects that would result in
developing skills for those interests. During my semester, I have been able to participate in meetings about creating quality after school
programs, city-wide youth employment programs, large scale literacy events for elementary students and fund development campaigns
with corporate sponsors. Aside from meetings, I was able to create a newsletter skeleton to be used for the organizations affinity group,
Women United, as well as create a project plan for the My Very Own Library Culminating Event as well as multiple spreadsheets used to
best manage various aspects of multiple projects. Outside of the professional development, I had the opportunity to build relationships
with many of the staff in the office. Theyve each taught me valuable lessons related to the role that they play within organization from
marketing to community engagement to fund development.
If there was any regret that I have for my internship, I think my greatest regret is not making it known that I wanted to stay with the
organization if possible. I worked to show my dedication and willingness to work in whichever capacity I needed but, I did not express my
desire to stay with the organization beyond my internship. I did not express it for two reasons: I am not sure where I would fit into the
organization and I am not sure that my time at my current job is truly over.
As I leave my internship, I look forward to having my evaluation. I highly value feedback. Though I believe that I have contributed to
the organization, it means a lot to me to receive the perspective of those who I reported to throughout my time at United Way of
Delaware.
In relation to my personal and professional growth, there are things that I must continue to build. The first is true confidence. I
always doubt myself and it comes out at various times such as meetings. Ill present my idea in a way that shows I am nervous only to
receive positive feedback about it. I also need learn how to ask for forgiveness, not permission. I realize how much I wait for affirmation
or permission instead of doing what Id like to and showing initiative.
Overall, I truly value and appreciate my time with United Way. I grew immensely in a short period of time. I am happy to be able to
leave the organization with a higher level of admiration than when I came. United Way of Delaware has lived up to what I have always
Chapter Eleven: Career Planning

In the past year, I have been able to solidify exactly what Id like to do in life. I would like to
continue to build my nonprofit to the point that it can be a reputable service provider and integral
part of the Philadelphia community, become a minister, community activist, and public speaker.
Five to ten years from now, it is my hope to have contracts with schools and community centers
for programming and curriculum planned through my nonprofit. It is also my hope to be a
minister with an effective ministry in the areas of youth and womens ministry. In order to get to
the place in my career that I would like to, I must attend seminary, remain involved in the
community, and continue to accept opportunities to be the speaker at various events. I must also
continue to develop programs, curriculum and ministry opportunities geared towards empowering
those I would like to serve.
Presently, the only goal that I have a timeline for is the completion of seminary. It takes 3-4 years
to complete seminary and become an ordained minister. I would like to become an ordained
minister by the age of 31. Currently, I am applying to seminaries in the Philadelphia region.
As far as my goals related to my nonprofit and public speaking, I am actively working towards
developing both aspirations. My scholarship program for high school seniors starts on April 22,
2017. My organization will provide six students with workshops geared to providing resources
necessary to be successful in their first year of college as well as award each student with a $300
book scholarship. Thus far this year, I have had the opportunity to speak as a guest speaker and
panelist for three events and have received the invitation to speak at other events in the coming
months.
Overall, one of my goals for this year is to read more books that will help me develop in my areas
of interest for my career.