The Castleton State College social work program has a strong internship program that for years has worked with local businesses in the Castleton area.
Castleton student Ashlie Czelatka said she wanted to become a social worker because helping others appealed to her.
“I really enjoy helping people through their problems and making their lives better,” she said.
Czelatka is an intern at Rutland County Housing Coalition. She said her job entails simple office work, making calls to landlords about apartments and sometimes to clients and sitting in on meetings and observing everything that’s going on.
“It can be overwhelming at times, but I really like it,” she said.
The Rutland County Housing Coalition works with people with mental health issues or people who have just gotten out of jail, she said. Czelatka talked about how the agency tries to set up and help pay for housing for people right out of jail and if they cannot afford it. It also gets grants to help support and get people back on their feet, she said.
RCHC Administrative Assistant Tara FitzGerald said Castleton State has a long history of sending solid interns, which benefits the agency and gives the students needed experience.
“We have never had any bad incidents with student interns” said FitzGerald
After 30 years of working out in the social work field and another 15 years as a professorat Castleton, Lillian Jackson,head supervisor for the interns, said there are about 15 interns for the early field work class each semester. There are also about 17 internsper semester for the seniors’ part one and two field work class. Jackson said her experience has helped her locate several agencies looking for interns.
There are about 11 agencies that the early field work class can divided up into. The students get to self-select where they want to go and Jackson makes sure it’s a good fit for both the student and the business, she said.
She also said the experience the students get is priceless.
“It’s the best way to learn and get trained,” she said.