“As a product of Section 8 affordable housing and a first-generation college student, I feel that the programs Wesley Housing offers to its residents can have a huge impact on the trajectory of their futures,” shared April M., a Western New Mexico University (WNMU) social work intern.
“I wish I had the opportunity to be exposed to so many of these programs as a child. It’s so important to understand that the work completed as an intern or Resident Services Coordinator really allows us to have a stake in the world’s future,” she added.
Through ongoing partnerships with George Mason University (GMU), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and WNMU, Wesley Housing’s resident services team has enhanced its program and service delivery capacity through the work of graduate-level interns who serve as resident services program aides. During this intensive program spanning two semesters, students like April M. gain invaluable experience in the field working throughout Wesley Housing communities.
April, a WNMU student working to complete her Master of Social Work, recently finished her field internship at Quarry Station Seniors Apartments, Strawbridge Square, and Madison Ridge.
Throughout her time working in these communities, April’s work was centered around social and emotional learning. April kept Wesley Housing’s mission of “building up” at the core of all her programs, which focused on positive affirmations and how to be civically engaged.
As she reflected on her internship and all that she experienced and learned, she shared, “It only takes one person. Great work can be done by those who have the heart to do it.” She was referring to Virginia Peters, Wesley Housing’s founder, who has inspired her. As a retired schoolteacher, Ms. Peters saw a need in the community and had the heart and passion to do something about it.
April leaves her internship enthusiastic about the future and the difference she can make for the systemically oppressed. In her role, she touches every population, can explore policy, and can fight for change.
Wesley Housing and its residents are grateful for partnerships with local universities that allow students the opportunity to grow personally and professionally in an environment where they can build up lives.