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Trinity Boston Foundation Inc
June 26, 2010

As a second-year social work student, I worked at Trinity Boston Counseling Center (TBCC), which is part of Trinity Boston Foundation (TBF). From the very beginning the staff welcomed us (as interns) as part of the staff. The group has a unique client-focused approach to providing counseling for its clients. The staff is extremely seasoned--some of the clinicians have been practicing for over 30 years! As an intern, I provided individual counseling at TBCC and also worked at their offsite program, Street Potential--a program that provides life skills and vocational training to court- and gang-involved youth. TBCC uses several frameworks that truly show how client-centered they are in their counseling work. The team has a superb understanding of trauma and uses a trauma-informed framework in working with clients. This means an extra level of sensitivity is applied as they work with clients. As well, TBCC's open-minded approach to integrating spirituality with counseling allows the client to define whether, what, and how spirituality nourishes them emotionally or needs healing. As well, Trinity Boston Foundation staff are very open-minded, focused, and sensitive to the goals and approach of TBCC. Due to the fact that TBCC is part of Trinity Foundation (and affiliated with Trinity Church) there is an amazing sense of observing sacred space together. As clinicians we always thought about the sacred space we were developing with our clients. For instance, how is it defined by our clients, ourselves as clinicians, and by our interaction with each other in relationship? In staff meetings we regularly took moments at the beginning of each meeting to observe the sacred space created by the presence of those in the room (and often those who were missing) and what we would be discussing next. This type of meditation on space might seem small to some, but it meant that everyone was present in the moment to discuss topics at hand. The staff at Trinity are extremely seasoned, as I have said before, but they are always integrating new ways of applying knowledge acquired through relationship with clients, consultants, interns, and each other. There is a strong sense of team, collaboration, respect, gratitude, and taking into account "the whole picture" as well as one can.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

This year was pivotal in my development as a clinician. I learned valuable information about working with individuals, groups, and youth through a trauma and spirituality framework to truly "meet clients where they are."

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The way the staff allowed each and every intern to develop his/her own "voice" in providing therapy with clients, all the while, the staff provided excellent guidance through supervision.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Clinical Intern.

The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship
June 10, 2010

Participating in the fellowship for the 2009-10 year deeply enhanced my skills as a social worker, a participant in the healthcare community, and solidified my commitment to service. I met weekly with two groups of court-involved young men teaching meditation. In the end, I found my students teaching me what they believed meditation to be. Instead of a practice of stillness, they developed a practice of meditation that wasn't about the "ohm" and sitting in the lotus position--but one of valuing time for reflection. We explored different ways to build a space for reflection. Through monthly meetings with my Schweitzer fellows, we learned about health disparities and delivering culturally competent solutions that were built collaboratively with our clients. The monthly speakers were a catalyst for our discussions and growth. The other fellows come from very diverse backgrounds--working towards master's in music, veterinary/medical/psychiatric nursing degrees, dental students, occupational therapists, public health candidates, and so much more. Meeting in fellowship with my colleagues was inspiring when you saw the challenges they came against and the insightful and innovative ways they implemented their projects within communities--and how they figured out how to make them sustainable. I found my project to be so enriching and focusing in my development as a clinical and macro social worker. The guiding mission set forth by Albert Schweitzer for "Reverence for life" through a life of service becomes strong within the fellows in their project year, but for myself, and, as for many fellows, it becomes a way of life.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have found that this fellowship has deepened my commitment to service and strengthened my resolve to follow a career path where I can take my clinical work and use it to change systems.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would like to see this organization spread its mission by taking on fellows who are in career transitions, who might be in a certificate or degree programs in that process.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Fellowship in service, enrichment of my development as a social worker within the project, being stimulated and supported by the ideas and actions of other fellows, speakers, and our program director.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Sensitive, intelligent, insightful, supportive, inspiring, encouraging.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Invigorate a generation of people who believed in service. So many people would like to do what we did over the past year--I had so many people say so to me. Yet, so many cannot because they have jobs/salaries and fiscal responsibilities.

Ways to make it better...

There was a way to do another fellowship project years from now, when I've been working for 5-10 years.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Finding funding dollars, I would imagine. They manage their money extremely well and give their heart and their minds to this fellowship in the way they designed it.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Professional with expertise in this field & I taught meditation to at-risk youth.