Cherish the small victories

Michael HarveyMichael Harvey is an online Human Services Leadership student in his final semester. Originally from Appleton Wis., he moved around the country after two years of college as a way to help him determine what he wanted to do with his life. Those experiences lead him to want to help those less fortunate, which is why he chose to major in human services leadership. Follow along as he shares his experience throughout his final internship.

The middle of the semester has hit, spring break is winding down and the snow is finally starting to melt.

My time at COTS homeless shelter has been anything but routine.  Sure, I have my set appointments with clients where we set goals and figure out what resources are needed.  In between those times it is a roller coaster ride. And  I am finding these experiences to prove invaluable.  I have all the responsibilities as the other case managers as well as the frustrations that come with that.

There are times in this field when you give and give for a client.  This client may come strides forward, find stability and is ready to make the next step towards independence.  He or she may talk about how proud they are of themselves or say that they have not felt this good in many many years.  Then they might decide that they are not ready to make these changes after all and regress several steps, only to end up back where they started.  I am finding it is the small victories are those to cherish.  It is a labor of love.  We cannot help the unwilling and we cannot force choices, even when you know in your heart that it is probably not the best idea.

As an intern I feel lucky to have found a place like COTS: one that is willing to give their interns the full experience to those willing to learn.  I am shoulder-to-shoulder with staff.  I would highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a placement that wants experience as a case manager to check this place out.

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