Congratulations to the 2014 awardees of the Ashley Brooks-Danso Memorial Fund’s Student Travel Scholarships! These students will receive $500 for travel expenses and complimentary registration to attend the 2014 CSWE Annual Program Meeting and its Gero-Ed Track events in Tampa, Florida from October 23–26, 2014.
Charlie Bouverette, BSW, Ferris State University
Charlie's interest in older adults was piqued at a young age when she began volunteering at a nursing home where her mother worked at the age of seven. At only age 10, she noticed and reported signs of elder abuse at the nursing home. Charlie was the only student from her university to volunteer for a gerontological academic service learning placement at a homeless shelter in San Salvador. She is set to begin an intensive senior field placement working in a hospice setting in an underserved rural community in northern Michigan. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in social work upon completion of her BSW degree.
"Attending the CSWE 2014 Annual Program Meeting was one of my first experiences for national travel. Because of the tremendous opportunity CSWE provided I was able to experience many new things, and I was introduced to new concepts emerging within the field of aging. I was also able to meet many distinguished scholars and was familiar with their research. During the conference I explored graduate career options and networked with other student organizations. The atmosphere within the conference was both encouraging and supportive of students. I was inspired by many to continue my career and encouraged in my educational endeavors. This was truly an unforgettable experience."
Kathryn Fox, MSW, University of Albany SUNY
Kathryn developed an interest in working with older adults after she began supporting a family member with dementia. She then created a fly-fishing program for older breast cancer survivors. Her commitment to working with older adults was cemented through her first field placement at a nursing home for veterans. Kathryn was accepted into the competitive Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education for her second field placement, during which she will be assisting older adults with substance abuse issues.
"I was so honored to have been selected as a recipient of the Ashley Brooks-Danso Memorial Fund Travel Scholarship and to have had the opportunity to attend the 60th Anniversary CSWE Annual Program Meeting in Tampa. It was a valuable experience to hear the luminaries of the world of social work speak to their personal experience of the values, ethics, and practice of our profession, to discover new and innovative ways to address the needs of the vulnerable populations we serve, and to learn from the scholarship that went into so many interesting posters and presentations. The chance to meet with the other scholarship recipients and discover commonalities and connections, and to learn through participating in the Gero-Ed track, provided insight and inspiration as I look forward to working to the best of my capacity in the field of aging."
Olaide Wolfe, MSW, University of Alaska, Anchorage
Working with older adults felt like a natural fit for Olaide, since she grew up in a communal society in Nigeria where showing respect for elders is the norm. In 2006 she created a personal care agency, which provides services to help elders. Many of her clients do not have any close relatives and rely heavily on her support. Olaide finds satisfaction in supporting elders’ rights to self-determination and to age in place whenever possible. As an MSW student, she completed a qualitative study of the perceived challenges and rewards of direct caregivers of residents in assisted living communities.
"I would like to take this opportunity once again to thank the CSWE Gero-Ed Center for making my trip to the 2014 Annual Program Meeting a memorable and educational experience. It was an honor to be one of the three recipients of the Ashley Brooks-Danso Memorial Fund Student Travel Scholarship. Being a part of such a wonderful event with thousands of social workers who are making great strides in the field was such an enlightening experience. I have gained a vast amount of information that I plan to apply at my current field placement in a hospice setting. I have also found the information I gained at the APM to be beneficial to my small business, a personal care agency serving older adults and individuals who experience disabilities. I have made professional connections with the other two awardees and other social workers at APM. I would like to express my sincere gratitude for this opportunity."