Friday, February 10, 2012

Greetings from the Mile High City- Hannah Haupt

Greetings from the mile high city!  My name is Hannah Haupt and I'm currently a 4th year studying Social Work at Wartburg.  Wartburg West has been an eclectic and exciting experience! My placement is at Mount Saint Vincent Children's Home.  We provide residential and day treatment to children who have severe trauma histories. Most of the children have experienced things that I can't even fathom.  Their resiliency is beyond words. At Mount Saint Vincent, I have learned a great deal about how to effectively work with children and different interventions that can be used.  The facility also offers a plethora of services that encompass the biological, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of the child.  Mount Saint Vincent provides play therapy, music therapy, animal assisted therapy, dance/movement therapy, occupational therapy, and art therapy along with traditional clinical therapy.  Each classroom has one teacher and one educational mental health worker.  The dynamic staff in the school is truly amazing!  The school focuses interventions on teaching the children effective coping and life skills.  Staff are also trained in therapy modalities that focus on the development of the brain and usage of proper interventions to use depending on what stage of crisis the child may be in.  Mount Saint Vincent is truly an amazing place!

My experience in Denver has been so exciting!  I am always finding something new and taking advantage of opportunities that I don't have back home in Iowa! The first week we were here Nelson and Bonita were gracious enough to take us up to Leadville, a small town in the mountains.  It was so great to have a taste of the city life, but also experience the mountain town culture a little bit.  The scenery in Colorado is just amazing.  Last week in my ID class, we were able to go to a panel discussion on how local farmers and community members are starting community gardens that donate proceeds to local food banks!  What a great idea! The panel emphasized the importance of developing a sense of community and how a community garden can help achieve that goal. 

The social work seminar actually takes place at a neat venue called Denver Urban Ministries(DENUM).  Denum provides job services, utility assistance, budget assistance, and a food bank to individuals who may live in transitional housing or who may be homeless.  Being a social work intern I admire all of the social service agencies available to individuals who are in need.  It is also very eye opening to learn about where the other social work interns are placed.  We have had the opportunity the last few weeks to visit other placements and learn about all of the different opportunities for social workers in Denver. 

This weekend I'm actually headed up to Breckenridge! I used to live in Alaska and one of my very best childhood friend attends the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, so we are going up with a big group of people!  Should be a great time!   I'm very excited to get out the city and enjoy the mountains a little bit!  We recently received A BUNCH of snow so I'm excited to take part in some outdoor activities! 

I hope all is well! Have a great weekend!

Peace and Love,

Hannah Haupt :)

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