In the Fall semester, students in our BSW practice classes SOCW 200 and SOCW 310 completed 1,584 volunteer hours. Students completed their hours at Teddy Bear Childcare, Boys & Girls Clubs, Second Harvest Food Bank, A Better Way Services, Conduct Curb, CommUNITY Church, Behavior Associates of Indiana, Ross Community Center, multiple school corporations, Heart to Hospice, Muncie Mission, and Hillcroft Services, among other placements.

For SOCW 310, BSW students Faith Cochran and Taylor Washington each volunteered in a different Muncie afterschool program. Cochran spent Wednesday afternoons at Boys & Girls Clubs at Buley Center, helping children in sixth grade and up with homework, educational activities, gym time, and more. Washington spent one afternoon a week at CommUNITY Church as part of their Latchkey program, working with children in kindergarten through fifth grade.

“The staff wanted to help me incorporate my social work major into my work,” Washington said. “If the kids, for example, were getting out of hand, my supervisor would ask me to talk to them and figure out why they were doing what they were doing. I did not always get the answers I expected. But I learned that my presence made a difference.”

For Cochran, the big lesson was about how kids contradict expectations. “Going in I was warned I’d be working with the older kids and that they might be sassy, or that they’d have attitudes. But if you are not scared to get on their level and be real with them, you get to have some cool experiences. What was so evident to me, overall, is that you can’t judge a book by its cover.”