Thank you to all the student interns I have had over the past few years …

Last week I was honored with an award for Significant Contributions to Field Studies from Salem State College.  I was attending brunch with two of my social work interns and completely unaware that I was about to receive an award.  The presenter started reading a speech highlighting the accomplishments of the recipient.  I remember thinking to myself, that is so nice and how great that her students have said those nice things about her … then the speech got a little more specific and I said out loud,”really.. me?”  By the middle of the speech there was no denying the fact that I was receiving the award.  At that point I felt excited, happy and a bit nervous… what was coming next?!

At that point the presenter, also a good friend started to get emotional.. I couldn’t help myself, I walked up on stage and gave her a hug, standing up with her as she finished the speech.  I realized later that I was probably suppose to wait until the end, shake hands, take the standard photo and sit back down.  I couldn’t.   I was in the moment and in the moment the right thing to do was to hug my friend and help her finish her speech.

I am so thankful to be acknowledged for the encouragement and guidance I have given students over the years.  It is truly a joy to work with students (young and more “mature”) they are embarking on a new career and see only the possibilities ….  through their eyes the field is new and there are people’s lives to help change for the better.  I challenge you to think back to how you felt when you were in school or just starting out in your field…and then think about how you feel today.  If your day to day isn’t giving you butterflies- maybe it is time to sign up for a class, attend a workshop or update your resume.  OR talk to a student …. their enthusiasm might just rub off on you!

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