Mark: I have been interning at West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park, Illinois. This internship has enabled me to gain further insight as to what it is like to be a medical social worker. Over the course of the semester, I have been learning about what it is like to perform social work assessments/initial evaluations, discharge planning, and consults related to domestic violence, substance abuse, psychiatric, and child/elder abuse. These experiences have shaped my understanding of the social problems that are impacting neighborhoods in the Chicago-land area. I have experienced many difficult and troubling situations, but it is a joy to see God working in these times. My worldview and foundation have been strengthened and are an essential aspect in helping me to be a successful intern. I have really appreciated being a part of the social service department at West Suburban and it has been a joy to be a part of such a wonderful staff.
Kirsten: I have been interning at the Council for Jewish Elderly’s Adult Day Services program (ADS) in Evanston, Illinois this semester. Over this semester, I have learned a lot about myself and working with the elderly. My confidence has grown exponentially as I built relationships with the elderly clients, led groups such as the Feelings Group, and worked with the social worker and the nurse on staff in care plan meetings. The Adult Day Services program is a welcoming and joyful place for elderly to come to during the day and be able to socialize, participate in activities, and feel loved, and I am so grateful that I was able to be a part of that for one semester. Throughout my time at ADS and Chicago Semester in general, I was exposed to a lot of diversity on a daily basis, which opened my eyes to new experiences and made me grow in my own faith and relationship with God. Participating in Chicago Semester as my last semester in my college career has helped me to grow not only as a professional social worker but also as a Christian.
As the semester comes to a close, we would both like to say that we are very thankful that we had the opportunity to do Chicago Semester. It has been an amazing experience not only interning in Chicago but also living in the city as well. We have had many fun opportunities in Chicago such as going to a Cubs game, exploring museums, experiencing neighborhoods, attending church in the city, and eating in historic places such as the John Hancock Building. We are appreciative of what Chicago Semester has done for us, and we are looking forward to the end of the year celebration dinner tonight in Greek-town!