Fighting for Education: 2017 Practicum Student

October 18, 2017 | Meredith Hershner

With the help from practicum students, we have increased capacity for creating change. Our Community Building Team is fortunate to have practicum students join us each year to support our work in the community. Emily Wherry joined United Way in August and hit the ground running.

During her time here, Emily will be working to establish a parental engagement group and facilitate conversations with this group about barriers to early childhood literacy. She will also be working with United Way's Education team to create a pamphlet. This pamphlet will identify skills kindergarten teachers want children to possess before entering kindergarten and steps to gains those skills for parents. Emily will also help with the Condition of Youth report and Mental Health Career Day.

Education is one of the foundations to build strong, resilient, and successful families. Through her work with parents, creating a pamphlet to support kindergarten readiness, and contributing to the Condition of Youth, Emily is supporting our education goal. By 2020, we work to increase the number of low-income children in our five-county area who are on track academically and developmentally by fourth grade by 30%.

Her time with UWECI will also help Emily gain experience for her career in social work. "After working with United Way, I will continue into my final year of my masters program. I plan on utilizing the skills and knowledge I obtain while working with UWECI and applying it to my practice of social work, whether it is in school social work or more macro practice. This experience will help shape what my future career goals and interests might include."

Emily is an asset to our Community Building team, and she has already done great things in the past two months. We are looking forward to the rest of her time here and the meaningful work she will take on.