Student interns serve neighborhood

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Senior Matthew Bagayas interns at Harborview Mental Health Services.

Seattle University students frequently connect with the neighborhood as part of their studies.

Three out of four SU students serve the community with volunteer activities, professional development and internships. The Princeton Review’s guide, The Best 373 Colleges, ranks SU among the top 20 universities in the nation for how well its students interact with community.

At Spruce Street Secure Crisis Residential Center, Operations Manager Magan Hale says there’s learning not only for SU students who intern but also for her staff, who often gain the most recent information about the social work profession from student interns. Spruce Street, at 11th Ave. and East Spruce Street, serves about 50 at-risk teens monthly.

“SU students come in with the latest information on topics such as ethics. They bring fresh perspectives and it has been really great to have them here,” Hale says.

Many SU students intern at social-service agencies and health-care facilities in the Bailey Gatzert neighborhood and throughout the city.

Matthew Bagayas, a senior social work major from Hawaii, helps place clients at Harborview Mental Health Services in short-term and permanent housing. Bagayas says his Harborview experience has nudged him towards a master’s degree so he can pursue a career in medical social work.

Matthew Bagayas, a senior social work major from Hawaii, helps place clients at Harborview Mental Health Services in short-term and permanent housing. Bagayas says his Harborview experience has nudged him towards a master’s degree so he can pursue a career in medical social work.

Crystal DeFrang, another SU senior majoring in social work, says those housed at this short-term facility are often runaways or those who have experienced family neglect, physical or sexual abuse or other dangerous circumstances.

DeFrang arrives at Spruce Street at 7 a.m., reads case files of newcomers and prepares for one-on-one assessments when residents arise at 9 a.m. She says she has learned how to talk to them and gain their trust. Their stories take shape and real conversations begin when she plays games with them.

“They just want attention and people to talk to, but you have to treat them with respect,” says DeFrang, a member of the Lower Elwah S’Klallam Tribe from Port Angeles.

Joseph Osel, a graduate student in psychology from Portland, is finishing clinical hours for his master’s degree. The clients he serves through the Atlantic Street Center are mostly low-income and at-risk African American boys between the ages of eight and 16. He’s an outside therapist who frequently treks to schools to counsel his clients.

Building relationships, bringing down walls and providing clients with ways they can help others is a big part of Osel’s work.

“Atlantic Street has brought me way back to earth and my passion for social justice,” he says.

Winter Calendar Title

May

Red Arrow_png International Photo Competition 2013 Exhibit
Kinsey Gallery, Admissions Bldg.
Through May 24, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mon.–Fri.

Red Arrow_png Lunchtime Scholar Series
Hunthausen Hall, ROOM 100
May 24, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

June

Red Arrow_png Student Chamber Music Spring Concert
Pigott Auditorium
June 6, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Red Arrow_png Day of Learning: An On-campus Experience for Older Adults
Pigott Building
June 19, 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Seattle, WA 98122-1090
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