Ten students enrolled in the University of San Diego’s Graduate Students’ Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and School Counseling — Field Practicum — was reminded of the old adage ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ during the closing ceremony. The students participated in one week of practicum in two units under the Department of Social Services. Three students were assigned to the Domestic Violence and Counseling Unit and seven worked in the Juvenile and After Care Unit of the Department of Rehabilitative and Welfare Services. Synergy Bahamas Training College, the University of San Diego, and the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development organized the practicum. In remarks, the Hon. Lanisha Rolle, Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, told the students, Friday, at the Hearing Room, Aventura Plaza, that the knowledge and exchange between them and the practitioners would and should have caused them to recognize that what they have learned in the classroom must be married to their application in the field.
She said they must daily practice the six core values of social work, which include service, social justice, dignity and self-worth, the importance of human relations, integrity and competence. “You must daily practice or put into practice your commitment to the primary mission of the social work profession, which is essentially, to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic needs of all people with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, marginalized and living in poverty.” Minister Rolle said the Ministry of Social Services and Urban Development is “honored” to have partnered with the University of San Diego, and she is confident that the exchange gave the students a greater appreciation for what they can expect as social workers. “As a social worker, you are expected to answer the call of the sick, the shut-in, the poor and indigent, the disabled and the impotent, the disadvantaged and the marginalized, the needy, and in some cases, yes, the greedy. What is important to understand is that your call is to serve, to serve people with respect, with dignity, with love, with care and concern.”
Minister Rolle encouraged the students to have a personal motto that will guide their professional performance in the practice of social work. She shared her personal motto, ‘treat others the way you would like to be treated’. “The best way you become the best social worker or the best at anything is to daily commit to putting principles into practice. ‘Practice makes perfect’. She congratulated the graduate students on their accomplishments and encouraged them to take time out to celebrate their accomplishments. Before the closing ceremony, the students presented their findings and will also share their counseling interventions for the group and individual therapy with the Department of Social Services. The cohort comprised: Ana Carbonell, Samantha Davidson, Danielle Jones, Brittany Love, Laurie Lyon, Isis Pacheo, Darren Santos, Kimdinh Tran, Sean Winn and Bethann Zenk. Dr. Edrica Richardson of Synergy Bahamas Training College and Dr. Kristopher Hall of the University of San Diego also participated in the ceremony.