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Volunteer Profile

Kathryn
Keiler
Languages: 
English
February, 1993
Bio: 
Currently, I am an undergraduate social work student at Murray State University. One day I hope to work at an intensive inpatient rehabilitation facility for emotionally disturbed adolescents. As a social work student I have learned the importance of recognizing the beliefs that I hold. I believe that all people should have the opportunity to learn and grow in life and that all individuals should be treated with dignity and worth. I believe that all people should have the opportunity to learn, grow, and be treated with dignity and respect. My experiences have taught me that it is important to empower individuals to learn how to make positive choices instead of telling them what to do. I am drawn to this volunteer opportunity because it will give me insight and experience that I will be able to use in my future social work career. Therefore, I am more than willing to partake in a program that will allow me interact and work with children, preferably adolescents. Moreover, I think that this opportunity will allow for me to utilize my passion for helping others, while getting a cultural experience.
Volunteering Experience: 
I have had many experiences that I believe will be beneficial for this volunteer oportunity. In 2008 I spent a month at an all girls’ camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which gave me insight on what it is like to live with other girls in a structured group setting. During my time at Murray State University I have completed several service-learning projects that involved working with diverse populations, specifically being the elderly and individuals with various disabilities. In 2013, I helped my fellow peers organize a fall festival at a residential senior living facility. Also, during the spring of 2014, I completed a service learning project that I created to socially, physically, and emotionally benefit a student that would not usually participate in many recreation or leisure activities due to a physical disability. These experiences have helped me to learn how to communicate with individuals that are different than myself in a more comfortable manner. Additionally, these projects have helped to improve my organization and improvisation skills allowing for me to maintain composure when circumstances don’t go as expected. Additionally, I have had several opportunities to work with children In 2011 I helped to monitor “at risk students” in a blended learning style classroom setting to help keep students safe and on task to maximize learning during small group activities and whole group instruction. In 2012 I tutored fifth graders that had learning disabilities whom struggled in mathematics once a week. From January 2013-2014 I worked for Murray State University’s Student Disability Services Project Mentor Program in which I was assigned one to two students per semester to meet with weekly. I assisted my students with mathematical and writing assignments, proofreading, citations, study techniques, time management, and self-advocacy skills. These experiences gave me insight on how to build appropriate relationships with students. Recently, I interned from May 20, 2015- July 31, 2015 at a non-profit Youth Villages Level IV Boys Residential Facility, which is located right outside of Memphis, Tennessee. In the residential setting, Youth Villages uses a treatment approach that focuses on: positive and caring relationships, structure, with consistent and reasonable rewards and consequences, learning in school and in other activities, positive peer relationships, individual problem solving and communication skills community support, positive role models, mentors, and adult figures, and empowerment and strength based intervention. The center was divided into four “courtyards” that had children ages 9-17 with different cognitive capacities and traumas. Each “courtyard” had a living room area, four showers and bathrooms, ten bedrooms with two beds in each, two atriums, and a fenced in outdoors recreational area. I worked on courtyard one with boys that were considered “lower functioning” and were ages 13-17. Depending on the intake and discharge process we could have anywhere from 14 to 19 boys on the courtyard at one time. The youth that I had the privilege of with all had experienced some form of trauma in their lives, whether it was sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. Many of the children had some form of mental illness or had a developmental, intellectual, physical, and/or emotional disability. Most of my children exhibited combination diagnoses or behaviors, including, but not limited to the following: substance abuse, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, attention defiant disorder, post traumatic stress, oppositional defiant disorder, Autism, Asperger’s, depression, elopement risk, sexually acting out, physical aggression, homicidal and/or suicidal ideations, etc. During my time at Youth Villages I was an intern amongst the staff, which was composed of teachers, teacher counselors, mental health counselors, interpreters, house keeping, nursing, cafeteria staff, senior teacher counselors, supervisors, program directors, manager on duty, etc. After almost two weeks of orientation and training I was able to do almost everything that a Teacher Counselor (refers to anyone who works with kids in a Re-Ed environment) could do besides non-violent physical interventions. A typical shift consisted of me assisting during: community group, anger control or moral group, recreational therapy, structured choice activities, meals, snacks, and showers. I also helped with scanning the youths rooms every five to fifteen minutes, documentation, phone calls, new resident inventory, building rapport with the kids, precaution logs, and active interventions. Additionally, I was required to attend weekly employee meetings, trainings, and consultations. Another intern was assigned to work with me on my courtyard. We took turns on the types of documentation that we were assigned everyday. We were required to do milieu notes, contact notes, active intervention and phone call logs, resident point sheets, etc. Each intern had to complete a project that would benefit other interns, staff, or residents before the end our internship. I chose to make timeout signs to designate spots for the residents to calm down before escalating and going into crisis. I learned a lot of useful information for my future as an aspiring LCSW. For example, I got to work with troubled youth individually and in a group setting for ten weeks, five days a week, eight hours a day. With that being said I was alongside the youth for indoor and outdoor recreation, group therapy, community group, structured choice, chores, laundry, showers, meals, med pass, transitioning, phone calls, etc. I had the opportunity to read their psychosocial’s, trauma narratives, nursing reports, criticals, etc. I waited one week to read each residents’ psychosocial, so that I had time to built rapport with the youth with an open mind. This experience also taught me how important it is to be a good team member because every staff played an important role in preventing a crisis or crises. My summer internship at the Boys Residential Treatment Facility was so much more rewarding than I ever imagined. I started the position hoping that I could make a difference in troubled youths’ lives. However, “my children” greatly impacted me in a way that I can’t even put into words. Many of “my kids” kept asking me to never forget them; little do they know, I never could. Ultimately, I am just really thankful for the opportunity because I am now one hundred percent positive that a career in social work is for me. Therefore, I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to work with your program so that I can continue to learn and grow as a person by creating new life changing relationships with youths from various backgrounds.
Education: 
I am currently pursuing my BSW at Murray State University and I will graduate during spring 2016.
Occupation: 
Part-Time Associate at Books-a-million
Kathryn Keiler
Paducah
United States
Languages:
English
February, 1993
Description
Currently, I am an undergraduate social work student at Murray State University. One day I hope to work at an intensive inpatient rehabilitation facility for emotionally disturbed adolescents. As a social work student I have learned the importance of recognizing the beliefs that I hold. I believe that all people should have the opportunity to learn and grow in life and that all individuals should be treated with dignity and worth. I believe that all people should have the opportunity to learn, grow, and be treated with dignity and respect. My experiences have taught me that it is important to empower individuals to learn how to make positive choices instead of telling them what to do. I am drawn to this volunteer opportunity because it will give me insight and experience that I will be able to use in my future social work career. Therefore, I am more than willing to partake in a program that will allow me interact and work with children, preferably adolescents. Moreover, I think that this opportunity will allow for me to utilize my passion for helping others, while getting a cultural experience.
Volunteering Experience
I have had many experiences that I believe will be beneficial for this volunteer oportunity. In 2008 I spent a month at an all girls’ camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains, which gave me insight on what it is like to live with other girls in a structured group setting. During my time at Murray State University I have completed several service-learning projects that involved working with diverse populations, specifically being the elderly and individuals with various disabilities. In 2013, I helped my fellow peers organize a fall festival at a residential senior living facility. Also, during the spring of 2014, I completed a service learning project that I created to socially, physically, and emotionally benefit a student that would not usually participate in many recreation or leisure activities due to a physical disability. These experiences have helped me to learn how to communicate with individuals that are different than myself in a more comfortable manner. Additionally, these projects have helped to improve my organization and improvisation skills allowing for me to maintain composure when circumstances don’t go as expected.

Additionally, I have had several opportunities to work with children In 2011 I helped to monitor “at risk students” in a blended learning style classroom setting to help keep students safe and on task to maximize learning during small group activities and whole group instruction. In 2012 I tutored fifth graders that had learning disabilities whom struggled in mathematics once a week. From January 2013-2014 I worked for Murray State University’s Student Disability Services Project Mentor Program in which I was assigned one to two students per semester to meet with weekly. I assisted my students with mathematical and writing assignments, proofreading, citations, study techniques, time management, and self-advocacy skills. These experiences gave me insight on how to build appropriate relationships with students.

Recently, I interned from May 20, 2015- July 31, 2015 at a non-profit Youth Villages Level IV Boys Residential Facility, which is located right outside of Memphis, Tennessee. In the residential setting, Youth Villages uses a treatment approach that focuses on: positive and caring relationships, structure, with consistent and reasonable rewards and consequences, learning in school and in other activities, positive peer relationships, individual problem solving and communication skills community support, positive role models, mentors, and adult figures, and empowerment and strength based intervention. The center was divided into four “courtyards” that had children ages 9-17 with different cognitive capacities and traumas. Each “courtyard” had a living room area, four showers and bathrooms, ten bedrooms with two beds in each, two atriums, and a fenced in outdoors recreational area. I worked on courtyard one with boys that were considered “lower functioning” and were ages 13-17. Depending on the intake and discharge process we could have anywhere from 14 to 19 boys on the courtyard at one time. The youth that I had the privilege of with all had experienced some form of trauma in their lives, whether it was sexual, physical, or emotional abuse. Many of the children had some form of mental illness or had a developmental, intellectual, physical, and/or emotional disability. Most of my children exhibited combination diagnoses or behaviors, including, but not limited to the following: substance abuse, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, attention defiant disorder, post traumatic stress, oppositional defiant disorder, Autism, Asperger’s, depression, elopement risk, sexually acting out, physical aggression, homicidal and/or suicidal ideations, etc.

During my time at Youth Villages I was an intern amongst the staff, which was composed of teachers, teacher counselors, mental health counselors, interpreters, house keeping, nursing, cafeteria staff, senior teacher counselors, supervisors, program directors, manager on duty, etc. After almost two weeks of orientation and training I was able to do almost everything that a Teacher Counselor (refers to anyone who works with kids in a Re-Ed environment) could do besides non-violent physical interventions. A typical shift consisted of me assisting during: community group, anger control or moral group, recreational therapy, structured choice activities, meals, snacks, and showers. I also helped with scanning the youths rooms every five to fifteen minutes, documentation, phone calls, new resident inventory, building rapport with the kids, precaution logs, and active interventions. Additionally, I was required to attend weekly employee meetings, trainings, and consultations. Another intern was assigned to work with me on my courtyard. We took turns on the types of documentation that we were assigned everyday. We were required to do milieu notes, contact notes, active intervention and phone call logs, resident point sheets, etc. Each intern had to complete a project that would benefit other interns, staff, or residents before the end our internship. I chose to make timeout signs to designate spots for the residents to calm down before escalating and going into crisis. I learned a lot of useful information for my future as an aspiring LCSW. For example, I got to work with troubled youth individually and in a group setting for ten weeks, five days a week, eight hours a day. With that being said I was alongside the youth for indoor and outdoor recreation, group therapy, community group, structured choice, chores, laundry, showers, meals, med pass, transitioning, phone calls, etc. I had the opportunity to read their psychosocial’s, trauma narratives, nursing reports, criticals, etc. I waited one week to read each residents’ psychosocial, so that I had time to built rapport with the youth with an open mind. This experience also taught me how important it is to be a good team member because every staff played an important role in preventing a crisis or crises. My summer internship at the Boys Residential Treatment Facility was so much more rewarding than I ever imagined. I started the position hoping that I could make a difference in troubled youths’ lives. However, “my children” greatly impacted me in a way that I can’t even put into words. Many of “my kids” kept asking me to never forget them; little do they know, I never could. Ultimately, I am just really thankful for the opportunity because I am now one hundred percent positive that a career in social work is for me. Therefore, I would be thrilled to have the opportunity to work with your program so that I can continue to learn and grow as a person by creating new life changing relationships with youths from various backgrounds.



Education
I am currently pursuing my BSW at Murray State University and I will graduate during spring 2016.
Occupation
Part-Time Associate at Books-a-million
Other Skills
Home Town

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