Social Media

My Manchester Story

Paige Dressler

by Lauren Hughes | Oct 16, 2019
Paige Dressler

Paige Dressler, a senior social work major and sociology minor, gives an in-depth look at the social work major and the opportunities it provides.

 

“When college searching, how did you choose Manchester University?”

“I wanted [a college] close to home, and Manchester is about 45 minutes away, which is perfect. I came on a visit and [learned about] Manchester’s amazing Social Work Program. I already knew that was the area I wanted to study; so really the Social Work Program was the main thing that drew me here.”

“What kinds of things are you involved with in the Social Work Program?”

“Every senior in the social work program has to do a 420-hour field placement, which is similar to an internship. Right now, many seniors are interviewing to see where they will be in field placement next semester. I just got my placement actually − it’s at Daniel’s Place, a new nonprofit respite care facility in North Manchester. Parents or caregivers can drop off their kids or adults with disabilities, and they can stay at the facility for as many hours as needed until the caregiver can pick them up. People can pay as much or as little as they are able to for the service. They just opened in July so I’m really excited to work with them!

“That sounds great! Have you been involved with the community of North Manchester before?”

“Last year I started working with theAcorns Office of Volunteer Services, helping with the campus food pantry and clothing closet. I learned a lot and I’m now on the board of directors for the Manchester Fellowship of Churches, which consists of five programs: the North Manchester food pantry; the thrift store; REACH, which helps residents with utility and rent bills; Thursday’s Child, which has free clothes for children; and Open Table, which helps families deal with trauma. I am the student liaison between Manchester University and the board, so I pass information back and forth to help recruit volunteers for their programs. I love the people − they are like family to me.”

“Can you tell me more about theAcorns volunteer opportunities?”

“The Office of Volunteer Services hosts most of the volunteer activities on campus. This year we are planning a homelessness awareness night. We are going to get boxes and try to get students to sleep outside. We also host blood drives and other on-campus events, as well as having volunteers go into the North Manchester community. We also have the campus food pantry and clothing closet, so students can grab food and clothes. We also host the “U Can Crush Hunger” event, which is a food drive competition between us and other schools in the area, with the donations going toward both the North Manchester food pantry and our on campus pantry.”

           

What is next for you after graduation?”

“Today  I received an email about an internship in Texas after graduation. It’s through the organization Hands of Hope, and I would be living in a house with four other recent college graduates and four foster kids under the age of 6. I would be taking care of them, getting to them appointments − essentially being somewhat of a foster mom for a year. After that I don’t know, but I love all kinds of social work and I think I want to work with foster children or people with disabilities.”