Throughout my academic career, I always knew that I wanted to work with older adults. My idea of what that looked like has changed a couple of times over the years, but my end goal was always to make the lives of older adults better and easier. This year, I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in social work from the University of Toledo and I am currently continuing my education by pursuing my Master’s degree in social work as well. While working on my Bachelor’s degree, I interned at MemoryLane Care Services, an adult day center for adults with dementia and other memory loss conditions. The main project I completed during my internship was helping to analyze satisfaction survey data for the center. I ended up presenting this data to the board of directors at MemoryLane Care Services. This presentation of data was important because it helped staff at the center understand how receptive the caregivers and participants were to the services being provided by the adult day center. The survey data also helped to determine what services caregivers and participants were interested in the center providing. The valuable knowledge I gained through analyzing the survey data and putting it into the satisfaction report provided great on the job experience for me because I had never completed a project like it before. The skills acquired are skills that I will continue to use throughout my career as a social worker.
I was honored to have been selected to participate in the Ohio Scholars in Aging program. Unfortunately, we only got to experience two meetings in person due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it was still an amazing experience. The discussion topics were informative in the Ohio Scholars in Aging program for the meetings we did have. A highlight for me was getting to discuss issues facing elders in Ohio with a panel of legislators at the first meeting. I am very interested in running for state office one day, so getting to meet some of Ohio’s policy makers and hearing them describe what they are doing to make sure Ohio is a great place to age, was especially beneficial to me. Another highlight for me from this program was getting to know other participants in the program and about the fields they are going into. This program helped me learn how other professions are working to make the lives of older adults better. This understanding helped me know how I can work with other professionals to accomplish improved older adult lives within the social work field. Overall, my experience in the program was rewarding and I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to take part in this program.