For the panel board discussion, four panel members spoke to the class. The first of the four was Stacy Bragg a business relations specialist for the Delaware department of labor. She specialized as a counselor in vocational rehabilitation.
The second member was Fay Blake, an executive director, and founder, of a nonprofit organization based in Georgetown called Pathways to Success. Kevin Meenan, the third panel member, is the clinical director for Hudson Health Services. Lastly, the final panel member was Rudolph Drummond an assistant director at a nonprofit organization in Maryland called the Joseph house workshop.
What the Student Learned in the Discussion
Some of what was learned through the panel discussion experience included detailed information regarding what is required to perform the different jobs that each of the panel member`s had, what they do at each of their jobs, and a little about the people themselves.
The work that Stacy Bragg does mainly consists of assisting individuals who have disabilities that impede them from achieving employment. She helps her clients by finding them job opportunities and doing to best of her abilities all that is required by the client, within reason. She had mentioned that her job requires a lot of patience especially when dealing with particular clients, despite the certain clientele, she seemed to enjoy her job, which makes that struggles worth the effort.
Fay Blake is the proud founder of Pathways to Success, during the discussion she spoke to the class about how her organization helps kids who are in highschool that are at risk of dropping out. She told the class about how she counseled those students and how she uses the “three day” approach she learned from her church, where if a student wasn`t heard from in three days, someone from the organization would go check on them. Blake has gone through quite a lot, and struggled through more than any person should ever have to, but she became stronger because of the hardships in her life, and created something that helps children in need.
Kevin Meenan was different from the other panel members, although equally as caring, he seemed to be much more of a practical person. He told the class that one should never work for less just because he/she enjoys his/her job. Meenan works as the clinical director for Hudson Health Services where he oversees residents who are in recovery from addiction among other duties. He`s the kind of guy who goes above and beyond to help others.
Much like Meenan, Rudolph Drummond also assists those who struggle with addictions. The Joseph House workshop is a program that allows up to eight men who are struggling financially and cannot support themselves. The program allows clients to make postitive changes in their lives, along with providing assistance in recovery from addiction. Drummond shared that he was once a member himself, and is living proof the program’s success.
How the Discussion Impact the Student’s Plans for the Future
The discussion was very interesting in that it presented not only possible future career options, but also presented different pathways in the human services field. For possible future employment, working at either Hudson Health Services or for Pathways to Success inspires the interest. While Pathways serves a population that seems to most in need, the working environment at Hudson Health Services as possibly as a counselor appears to be intriguing. Counseling still is the current goal, so both of these options could provide a path towards it.
What the Student Wished They Had Asked
Upon leaving class, there were no big questions, but one that could be interesting to see would be how each of the panel members find a balance between caring too much, and caring too little. Overinvesting oneself can lead to burnout, and even in the discussion, Meenan called himself a “yes man,” which could mean he pushes his limits just a little. Does an individual have a limit to where they can help someone? If a client shows no interest in trying to help themselves, can it cause burnout to try and continue to help them?
Reflection on the Experience
The panel discussion offered the class a chance to see what they could possible find themselves doing in the future. The experience was educational in the sense that the speakers told the class what would be required academically, as well what kind of state of mind was required. All four positions requires different levels of education, with Bachelor`s being the lowest level, but some requiring a master`s level.
Aside from basic education, the most important thing when hiring seemed to be the demeanor of the individual. Being compassionate, genuine, patient, and expressing unconditional positive regard were all stressed as being very important to being successful in this field. All of which are common themes among classes in this degree.
Rudolph Drummond had mentioned that it was important to not let oneself become jaded, because there will come a time when one will meet a client who seems to simply not want to help themselves. He mentioned that there will come times where judgment calls need to be made on when to continue to help a certain client, and when one needs to realize that sometimes a hard decision needs to be made to help the many.
Jobs in this field seemed to take a toll on the individual who decides to pursue them, and it seems often not rewarding, but Fay Blake had said that if one finds a job that they love, it hardly seems like work.