BP11 – The Last Blog Post Ever…..

Prompt: Congrats! This is your last Blog Post for this course!

What are three things you LEARNED from this course and what is one thing you will DO as follow up?

  1. I learned how to assess a community based on observation, analysis, and intervention. It is easy for one to look around the community and judge it by its looks. For example, seeing run down houses, neighborhood gates, conditions of the roads, etc. But it is not until proper research has been conducted to be able to look deeper within the community. Looking for the consensus of the demographics, industry, educational attainment, etc. truly shows the true character of the community. At first, it can be overwhelming to looking into a community, however, the finishing product can give you a sense of accomplishment.
  2. I learned the value of mutual understanding through Karen Hill’s talk. The story of the “waffle cookie” gave a great insight on changing how we see things. I remember her talking about our surroundings with others with different viewpoints than us is greater than surrounding ourselves with people of similar viewpoints. This can be due to us creating success when we have formed understandings with others that have different ideas. She was my favorite guest speaker of the semester because of the impact she left.
  3. Learning about the various interactive activities (ice breakers) taught me how to gage various groups through-out all types of community/team building. My favorite would be the selfie/nice comment one because the activity indicated kindness and appreciation of others through actions and words.

Follow-up: One thing I will do as a follow-up is to utilize what I have learned to my career and personal life. After doing the community assignments, I drive around looking at communities very differently now. I have changed my mindset on how I look at a community.

I would also like to share Karen’s waffle story to others around me, not only to remind myself of mutual understanding, but to share with others our mindset in how we see things.

Lastly, I would like to utilize some of the activities we participated in during class. Social workers sometimes work with direct clients and sometimes in groups. So these activities are great to know and use for various group settings.

BP10 – Evaluation

Prompt:
Explain the importance of evaluation as a concept.
In the Krajewski et al., please summarize the findings of the program as reflected in the program evaluation.

Evaluation as a concept can be tested through qualitative research based on the articles of past research conducted. This type of concept is qualitative because it takes on subjective perspectives. In this case, Krajewski et al. (2010), took the concepts of evaluation through empowerment in youth. The findings of the program indicates how youth understanding is a factor to determining the success of the program evaluation. The youth in the program were able to grasp the concept of what working is like as an adult.”With that being said, the youth were to learn responsibility, discipline, and time management. The results showed a higher rate of success than failure deeming that the youth came through the program with new acquired skills.

Krajewski, E. R., Wiencek, P., Brady, S., Trapp, E., Rice Jr., P. (2010). Teaching employable skills to special education youth: An empowerment approach. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, 5(1), 167-176.

BP9 – Strategical Plannning

Prompt:

Citing Bryson (Chapter 1), what is strategic planning, what does it measure, and why is it necessary? Literally how do we strategically plan?

According to the text, strategic planning is what helps leaders know and make the judgement of what to do for the organization and its members. This type of planning helps leaders to draw a path for the group/organization to work on any issues, type of way to accomplish goals, allowing leaders to see the various groups dynamics, and making room for improvement. Based on the group’s discussion, strategic planning measures the extent on how much change occurs in terms of group’s need. This occurs by first looking at the group’s purposes, then proceeds to where the group is currently at in achieving its goals, and lastly how the group wants to get to the end goal. Strategic planning is necessary because it allows the group to move forward in utilizing methods that work and methods that don’t work. When I read this article, I think of strategic planning as something the leader literally does in planning for the group. This could be something such as planning the ice breakers for the class or planning the syllabus for the school year. Overall, I look at strategic planning as the leader seeing the goals and picturing the movement even before the group does. But also, the leader working with the group to find common ground and moving towards how to implement and get to the goals.

BP5 – Birmingham, Alabama

Prompt:

Two-part Blog Post:

Part 1: On your blog, name 3 changes you recommend for your peers’ website.
1.  One change recommended is workable links. Though my peer had such a neat and organized blog page with images and quotes that truly matched the characteristic of my peer.

2. Possibly an updated picture to match my peer more in current time. We are always changing through-out the years and season, so an image to show we are current with the time of the year helps readers to know we keep up with our blog page.

3. My peer’s blog had a title, theme, menu, blog roll, and biography along with images and an updated resume. Possibly add more features as to showcase our life as a social worker student especially through practicum experience.

Part 2: Name a town from Morse Chapter 6 “Preserving the Past” and write about the problem faced by the town and two ways they successfully preserved their past. Cite aspects of importance from supportive text/articles.

Part 2:
I have learned about Birmingham, Alabama as early as elementary school because it is a historical landmark for some of the greatest Civil Rights movements. Birmingham, Alabama is known for its segregated community between the African Americans and the White Americans. Around the 1960’s the community was challenged with integrating African American’s into the community. As the African American peoples grew larger and stronger, White American peoples were fighting that force. This then lead to a church bombing, killing four African American girls, on a popular street of protest (16th Street Baptist). Enough is enough, the leaders of the community, such as the Mayor at the time (David Vann) decided that a civil rights museum would bring the community together. Of course, any change is resisted in the community because people are comfortable with their set ways. White American leaders were opposed to the idea of the museum as well. Though, the idea was kept alive and well with the hopes that this museum would bring the community together by looking at the history and learning from the past. Because of those yesterday, today, we have the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. We are also able to look at Birmingham’s history and we should preserve its past by appreciating those that fought for the idea of a better community for all peoples to achieve a greater future.

Morse, S. (2014). Smart communities: How citizens and local leaders can use strategic thinking to build a brighter future (2nd edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

BP3 – Legislative Day

Prompt: For those who attended the Capitol experience: Write about 5 specific things you learned (or were reinforced) from the NASW Day at the Legislature and how you will use them to impact your work on a macro level in your career as a social worker.

After Legislation Day 2017, I learned:

  1. Frannie Fryor, NASW OK Board of President, introduced us in advocating on individuals, communities, and systems. We have learned this concept since the beginning of our social work classes, and we will always be reminded of this through-out our career as a social worker. The reason is because to understand the Ecological Systems Theory, is to understand how social work functions because these levels all connect. When working at a macro level, we must look at everything through an entire scope and we must also look at the individuals who are affected to be able to work at the macro level.
  2. Kara Joy McKee, Outreach Specialist Oklahoma Policy Institute, spoke about how money in terms of budget/funding is the underlying source for a program/organization/community to grow and thrive. Even with the greatest ideas and support for those ideas, without money, those ideas become nothing. This knowledge can be used to remind us that macro level practice requires a team to think and maintain budget while using our communication skills to write/ask for proposals for grants and funding leading us to know how and who to speak to.
  3. McKee also spoke about getting to know our legislatures. This is highly important in macro level work because building relationships with your legislatures and working with members of our district creates a team setting of building on ideas and leading to improvement in problem areas.
  4. The Legislative Panel taught me the various perspectives on how to benefit the field of social work by finding sustainable ways to fund core services. It is ethical to not only learn and be involved in social policies we agree with, but to also learn and hear social policies from the other viewpoints. In macro level practice, we cannot base our career and build our ideas only to people who agree with us all the time, we should expand and educate ourselves on other perspectives. This helps us to become well rounded and work with our clients and communities in the aspect of open mindedness.
  5. I learned that my representative is Jon Echols and my Senator is Kyle Loveless. To make an impact on macro level work as a social worker is to know who our representatives and senates are. Not only is it not enough just to know them, but continuing on building that relationship with them and getting others in the district involved as well. Unfortunately, Mr. Echols and Mr. Loveless were not available to meet that day, but the overall experience has given me insight for future purposes.

BP2 – Allentown, PA

Prompt: Choosing one of these three communities from your readings (Allentown, PA [Morse], post-Katrina New Orleans evacuees [Cortes], or Harmony Elementary in CA [Cortes]), describe one way the community was challenged as cited by the text and two ways the struggle positively impacted its growth.

According to the reading by Morse (2014), there is no such thing as a perfect community. Rather, it is how the community responds to and handles the crisis that make a significant difference in a community. Nonetheless, it is about making decisions by hearing the voices of the members of the community, and working together by setting priorities in investing time to produce an efficient community. For example, one way the community of Allentown, PA, was challenged was through an economic crisis that came about. However, the community responded by reaching out and connecting to other communities to help transition to a newer economic plan. it was due to their economic struggles that Allentown, PA, was able to use technology to help respond to a community struggle. Another way Allentown, PA, was able to use their struggles to grow as a community was coming together as workers, scientists, managements, and unions using one another as a strong support system of relationships through trust to work on improving the economy. Allentown, PA, is a great example to look back on how a community utilized the member’s voices and worked together to respond to their challenges.

 

Morse, S. (2014). Smart communities: How citizens and local leaders can use strategic thinking to build a brighter future (2nd edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

BP1 – The Start to Community Learning

Prompt: Choose one of the statements below and expound upon your own ideas using at least one example by Morse (with proper citations):

“Communities are not programmable or predictable”

When we see and experience what a successful community feels like, we have to wonder how it got that way. Morse (2014), puts it in a way that successful communities take time to build and nothing occurs in an overnight time span. Starting a new community or making changes to a community takes on a different perspective of the teamwork’s imagination of the community outlook. When Morse says “communities are not predictable” (Morse, 2014, p. 5-6) she is right in the sense that there will be ideas and missions that fail. However, because communities fail, it makes them succeed. Meaning, if we rule out all the factors that make communities fail, we can pull together the ideas that make them work. In the end, communities are not easy to generate as it takes brain power and willingness to strive through even the toughest times.

Morse, S. (2014). Smart communities: How citizens and local leaders can use strategic thinking to build a brighter future (2nd edition). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

3 Commitments to the Class

Prompt: As your practice blog, please name 3 things that you will commit to do to enhance your learning in this course.

1.  I will commit to a reading schedule prior to class as well as a writing schedule when it comes to assignments in the course.

2. I will commit to being attentive during class and speak up during discussion to share my thoughts, ideas, and values based on the course topic of the week.

3. I will commit to maintaining respect to my cohort through values of friendship and learning.