SANTA ROSA — The school district here recently hosted a site visit to a group of social work students of the Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon (UANL) located in Monterrey, Mexico.
The visit occurred at the request of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s Social Work Department.
The prestigious University of Nuevo Leon toured three different social work sites in South Texas.
Santa Rosa ISD’s School Social Work Internship program was selected as one of the sites to visit due to its innovative and effective social work intervention program.
SRISD has accepted and trained more than 50 graduate and undergraduate social work interns and is considered as one of the best internship placements, according to UTRGV Social Work professors.
During the visit, UANL students met with a team of recent SRISD interns and school administrators and social workers.
Jaime Garcia, Jo Nelson Middle School Principal, welcomed the UANL students and shared how social work interns have helped him in his campus by working with students who are having socio-emotional issues.
He pointed out that unless these students deal with these issues in a constructive and therapeutic way, they will not be emotionally prepared to focus on their academic work.
Therefore, as he stated, social workers in schools help teachers by teaming up with them and providing support for students and their families.
Stephania Becerra, social worker and teen pregnancy prevention educator, shared with the guests about the new Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program that was offered this spring semester to students.
She explained that through the curriculum called “Cuidate” (Take Care of Yourself) factual information was given to students to help increase their knowledge of risky behaviors.
This progressive program has been well received by students and the community.
Alberto Trevino, Afterschool Project Director/Intern Field Instructor, shared how the school district has developed holistic innovative programs designed to help each campus reach its mission of educating all students.
He explained the school social work program utilizes non-traditional creative approaches that are focused on teaching youth leadership skills to students.
He summarized this approach in the phrase “Capture their HEARTS and their MINDS will Follow.”
Building trusting relationships with students is key to helping students reach their goals.