This is Chaz Davis’ final week as a Social Work Intern at the Center, and Director Julie Deden marked the occasion with a short ceremony and presentation of a thank-you card, followed by cookies.
“I joined the blind community four years ago, though not by choice,” Chaz told staff and students this morning. “But I really found that sense of community when I came here (as a student).”
A Master of Social Work student ad the University of Denver, Chaz has been serving as an intern here since February, at first just two days a week and then five days a week this summer. He arrived as a student at CCB in the early fall of 2016 after competing in the ParOlympics In Rio that summer.
It was that sense of community that brought him back to CCB when, after graduating from the center in July 2017 and entering the MSW program at DU, he asked Julie about doing his first internship here.
And he has given back a great deal to this current cohort of students, working with students on housing after graduation, Social Security and Medicaid concerns, as well as one-on-one counseling. In fact, the latter may be the part he liked the most.
“I really enjoyed getting to hear people’s stories, hear where they are in terms of adjusting to blindness, and What their goals are after they graduate from the center,” he says. “It’s great to see people’s growth.”
That experience may have altered the trajectory of his own career. Instead of working on a macro level, in some type of administration, he now sees himself moving toward clinical practice.
Julie cited all the work Chaz has done for our students, and of course how much we’ll miss having him here.
“We have a card for you from all of us,” Julie said. “It’s all in Braille except this last part because we didn’t want it to go to your head … It says ‘You’re an incredible person!'”
Chaz’ next internship will be in a high school setting assisting students develop both soft and hard work skills for their post-high school transitions. He graduates from DU next spring.
Thanks for everything Chaz – especially the chance to have cookies!