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Introductions- by Jennifer Spilsted

By savanna - Posted on 26 January 2011

Hi all!

As the new practicum student with YPSN, I should take this opportunity to introduce myself! My name is Jennifer Spilsted (Jennifer, Jenn, Jenny...they all work!), and I am a current student with the University of Victoria School of Social Work. I am in my third year of university studies and this is my first of two practicum placements within my program.

A particular aspect of social work that I have been attracted to is the diversity of field opportunities. When I envision my own future social work practice, I see myself working with families as well as in women’s transitions. As I continually grow and gain experience within the field, I look forward to challenging myself in exploring a number of different field options [mental health, hospice work, counselling...who knows?:)!] A future dream of mine is to continue my education towards a Masters degree after gaining some hands-on experience in the field. With this I would love the possibility of working in a school counselling setting. Some of my current interests and points of learning within social work has been around developing my own feminist identity by engaging with feminist approaches to social work practice. The feminist poet and activist Audre Lorde writes, “When I dare to be powerful - to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid”. I catch myself coming back to this quote often. I have also been focusing on social justice issues and understanding the structural influences of inequality, as well as becoming familiar with what it means to be an ally and working in partnership.

So far, I have been at the YPSN for just about two weeks now, and I have been overjoyed with the supportive environment of the organization. This has been not only from the YPSN staff and volunteers, but also from the openness of participants and their families. From my perspective, I have seen so much positivity and care and I have been constantly aware of commitment and effort everyone has made in creating this space. I have also truly appreciated the encouragement and honesty from parent’s coming to YPSN. As a non-parent myself, I am conscious that I will be in constant state of learning and I look forward to growing alongside everyone. A professor I have had who has been influential in my learning used the expression of “being graced in relationship and having teachers everywhere” ....this has definitely been my experience so far at YPSN. I have loved the input and suggestions I have received so far, and please don’t hesitate to say hi or chat at any time...let me know what works and what can be improved upon! Your feedback means a lot to me.

As my first blog entry with the hopes of much more to come, I’ll end with a Winnie-the-Pooh quote that was shared with me recently and has informed a new way of thinking about being with others and relationships:

“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. "Pooh," he whispered.

"Yes, Piglet?"

"Nothing," said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw, "I just wanted to be sure of you.”

I look forward to getting to know everyone as I continue to dip my toes in a little further here at YPSN!