AHRC New York City thanked its social work interns with subs, snacks, and sodas at a luncheon on Wednesday, April 22. Additionally, the interns were given personalized letters and small gifts to thank them for their hard work and dedication. The interns come from universities all over the city and work in various capacities at AHRC NYC, including residences, schools, and adult day programs. In addition to the interns, the luncheon was attended by AHRC NYC leadership and staff, as well community and university partners, and was organized by Seth Krakauer, Employee Development Manager.

What social work is all about in our field is challenging perceptions on what it means to serve people with developmental disabilities,Gary Lind, Executive Director, said. He added that social work is especially important to him because he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in that field. “For the first time in decades issues around social justice and economic justice are coming to the political forefront, and what all of you do is so important to that,” he said.

Honoring Social Work Interns

Michael Rublin and Daniel Campana were two of the interns honored. Together, they helped to establish an integrated basketball team at Francis of Paola Early Learning Center, building on a project Daniel had begun at Brooklyn Blue Feather Elementary School.

“I’ve worked with people with developmental disabilities in the past, but there’s no sense of real integration,” Michael said. They developed a pilot project together that fosters a feeling of equality among people with disabilities and people without disabilities, and also “is practice for the real world-job building skills and social skills,” Mike added. “Having them become a team and experience bonding with one another is so important,” Daniel said. In the future, Mike and Dan hope to branch out and expand into an integrated softball team.

Dr. Raymond Franzem, Supervisor of Social Services, thanked all of AHRC NYC’s educational partners in the internships, including Fordham University and Mercy College, and recognized AHRC NYC staff members who have been instrumental in assisting the social work interns. He also reiterated an important point for them to take into their future careers.  “Don’t accept [the attitude] ‘He can’t do it, that’s the way he is, that’s what he does.’ Look at what’s possible. And because all of you have seen what is possible the lives of the people we work with have been enriched. So truly I am proud of you.