Position: Sutton House Social Worker
When did you decide to go into Social Work?
In 2005 and 2006 I was volunteering
for City Year Detroit. I was planning to
become a teacher but I was a little concerned
about the restrictions and the stationary role of
teachers. One day, I was tutoring a young student
in the 3rd grade. I was helping him with
his reading and I found that he just wanted to
talk to me about his family and home life. I
realized that when he finished talking about his
family life he could then focus on his reading.
His reading started to improve. I found it to be
very clear that that part of his life, his emotional
well being, was just as important as his educational development.
Because the practice of social work requires knowledge of human development
and behavior, I knew that it was the right path for me.
Where did you go to Undergraduate and Graduate School?
I graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree
Social Relations. I originally was intending to get my Masters in teaching.
I then pursued my Master degree in Social work at Wayne State University.
I graduated in 2010.
How did you come to work at Don Bosco Hall?
Don Bosco Hall is my first job as Social Worker. I was already volunteering
at Don Bosco Hall’s
Community Resource Center; I believed that I would have a bigger impact
if I worked for the agency.
Tell us about your work at Don Bosco Hall.
I work at Sutton House.
Sutton House is a low security, community-based open setting treatment
program. Sutton House employs a multi-disciplined approach to residential
treatment. The program specializes in caring for young men who are at
the beginning stages of delinquency and misdemeanor conduct. The focus
of this program is to provide immediate intervention to prevent further
engagement with the juvenile justice system. All Treatment Specialists are
aware of each individual resident’s needs, and work cooperatively to
them. Staff members are trained to assure care, welfare, safety and security
are a priority. The focus of the program is to strengthen each young
man’s self-management skills.
Share with us some of the positive things that you are seeing in our
Being in placement gives these young guys an opportunity
to think about some of the decisions they have made before they continue
making poor decisions. Most of these youth have problems with authority
and with decision-making. When they are out in the community things are
happening so fast that they do not have the time to think about the decisions
that they make, and the consequences that those decisions will have
on them and their family. They appreciate that Don Bosco Hall is a structured
environment, yet it is community centered; DBH is second chance
for them. Once they move through levels they start to understand better
how to think and be careful before making bad decisions. Their selfesteem
starts to turn around. They start wanting a positive direction for
themselves. I am finding that most of these guys do have a good heart and
a lot of respect and grace. They are very talented and gifted. They can
write poetry. They can speak well but they come from environments or
social groups where it is not encouraged. These young men have so much
potential but they just need to be in a position where they are able to shine.