Blog #2: First Experiences at PCS

I have been working at the offices of Panhandle Community Services (PCS) for approximately two months, and I have learned quite a bit from the experience. One of the most prominent lessons I have learned is that social work is frustrating. When I was paired with Mary Twitty, I was given the opportunity to help create community outreach programs. I first had the task of learning how people learn and how they are motivated, so that we may better implement these programs. I spent three weeks developing surveys and coming up with a focus group presentation in order to retrieve this data.

Hard at work, researching learning styles to better understand our clients

Once all that was finished, I spent the next two weeks traveling to PCS satellite locations to conduct the focus groups with clients in order to find out what motivated them. Unfortunately, PCS caters to clients who tend to be busy during the day, or not willing or able to leave the house unless they have to. My first focus group consisted of mostly PCS employees. The second and third were filled with clients who were there in order to pick up food boxes from the local food pantry, and were not very willing to participate.

Large pad of paper used as a visual aid and to record responses during focus groups with clients

Nonetheless, we got our data and have been hard at work trying to put together programs that will help our clients learn new skills to make their lives better. This on top of helping with basic office work for Mary and the other employees is giving me some much needed experience in patience and emotional endurance.

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