During the month of March, Iowa Central students taking the Introduction to Human Services class have had the opportunity to witness firsthand what workers in the human services field do on a daily basis.
As part of a class project, each student job shadowed a professional at various human service organizations in Webster County, ranging from schools to nursing homes. After completing the job shadowing, students prepared a reflection sharing their personal experiences, the type of training or education required to do the job, and a general description of what the job entails.
In Friday's class, students shared their experiences with classmates, Fort Dodge Mayor Matt Bemrich, and Iowa Central President Dan Kinney. With several future social workers and human service employees taking the course, Bemrich presented the class with a proclamation for National Social Work Month and stayed to hear students experiences as well as to address areas of need within the Fort Dodge community where students may be able to establish careers.
"One of the most needed services in Fort Dodge is mental health services," Bemrich told the students.
Tameka McKenney spent time job shadowing at the Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center.
"They hear all kinds of stories of all sorts of situations," she said. "And if the worst happens, they become the victim's voice in the court system. I think it would definitely be a challenging, emotional job."
Student Dixie Smith also spent time with staff at D/SAOC. She said she discovered the career could be challenging yet rewarding.
"I'd love to work there," Smith said. "I would like the challenge."
Students Luke Grotluschen and Amber Nelson both spent time in the Alzheimer's unit at Friendship Haven. They also had the chance to spend time with visiting and doing activities with some of the residents. Both said it was an emotional but rewarding experience.
"My experience really moved me," said Nelson.
"Spending time with those people really is life-changing," said Grotluschen.
Other places visited were St. Edmond Catholic Schools, Community & Family Resources, the Webster County Victim Witness Coordinator, Northwoods Living and Head Start.
"We have a great, active group of students in this group," instructor Larry McLuckie said. "We have a lot of future professionals and social workers."
Contact Emilie Nelson at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org