Intern Reflections: Ashley Miller-Rhees

Hello! My name is Ashley! I have been a BASW Intern here at FamilyWorks since October 2020.  I am currently working on completing my BASW degree at the University of Washington.  I chose social work because being adopted out of the foster care system and growing up with social workers in my home I got to experience first-hand the difference a good social worker and support programs can make in the lives of youth.  As a teen, I spent my time volunteering in shelters with people experiencing homelessness, and wanted to continue my journey of working with others in the social work field.  I am still trying out new things and am not quite sure where this path will lead.  Social work has so many opportunities and areas of study to pursue, but I am very excited to see where the future takes me!

I was very excited to be an intern at FamilyWorks, and really enjoyed my time here getting to know the FamilyWorks community!  Working in FamilyWorks Resource Center allowed me to do a variety of different tasks and learn about many different aspects of social work.  In my role here I had a variety of tasks from going on outreach, doing client intakes, administrative work, working in the food bank doing check-in, and assisting with youth programs.  I appreciated the variety of different roles I was able to take at FamilyWorks, as I got to experience all the many different positions and learning in a variety of capacities.  I have thoroughly enjoyed being an intern here and learned so much working with this incredible community of people here at FamilyWorks.  From participants, staff, and volunteers everyone works together all make this place a wonderfully inviting place of connection, and genuine care in the community.

I have learned so much throughout my time here at FamilyWorks.  One of the biggest lessons I have learned is the importance of being flexible, most days will not go exactly as planned, things happen and that’s okay!  What is important is to know how to multi-task, while also knowing your own limit and how to ask for help and when.  It’s important to remember that we all have different strengths and perspectives and can learn from each other, no one should be working through a difficult or overwhelming situation alone.  FamilyWorks is such a beautiful community of people, and it has been such a wonderful experience getting to know, work alongside, and learn from all the incredible participants, volunteers, and staff.

When reflecting on my experience, my advice for future interns is to ask a lot of questions!  Everyone is so supportive and is here to help you through this journey.  Another important thing is to know what your strengths are and discuss these with other staff when collaborating on projects, whether that be organizational skills, craftiness, flier designing, working one-on-on with participants, administrative work, or running programs; whatever that is there will be a place for your skills at FamilyWorks.  Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and do new things, because maybe you’ll find a new area of strength or passion!  Lastly, prioritize self-care!  Have routines in place for how you are going to relax after a long day, eat nutritious food, get enough sleep, and do things that make you happy!  Good luck on your new journey, it’s going to be an amazing experience!