Hello again Haywood Street Congregation! My name is Jessica Carter and I had the extraordinary opportunity of fulfilling my senior level social work internship within the Haywood Street Respite. It seems like just yesterday I was writing a reflection at the start of my internship in January, but time seems to move faster when you get to be involved with such an amazing community that is Haywood Street Congregation. While I am sad to say my internship has ended, I am thrilled to have gained community and all that I have learned during my time here.
I would like to reflect on how special the staff is here. I have never in any of my life’s work or internships witnessed a more mutually supportive staff. They demonstrate a ministry of relationship not only with our friends, companions, and community but also with each other. I cannot stress how rare this is. I have never witnessed such pure love and support. They are a huge part of each other’s support systems, and it was so beautiful and inspiring to witness and be apart of.
I would also like to pay tribute and special appreciation to Respite Program Manager Michael Platz. He could tell that during my first weeks in the Respite that I was very anxious, but his kindness and welcoming demeanor helped me ease into my social work role in the Respite so that I could better help serve our friends. He shared his wisdom with me on a daily basis, and there was much to be learned in watching the compassionate way in which he interacts with friends, companions, and the community. He also coached me in the art of self-care, which has improved my life in all arenas. I will be forever thankful for these lessons.
I will carry Haywood Street Congregation in my heart forever, and I will try to incorporate what I learned here in all that I do during my social work career. Thank you all for blessing me with this opportunity to be a part of such a beautiful community. I truly believe that if we had more places like Haywood Street, that our world would be a much better place.
Jessica Carter, BSW