On October 24, the Diakonia club held their Social Work Advancement Training Day (SWAT) in Weber Center. Diakonia is a club created for social work majors and other students interested in social welfare.
The purpose of the event was to get all students who are involved in the club or majoring in social work to come together and learn from each other. The event was held to prepare and train students to understand what they are going to be studying for the next four years.
“This event is held once a semester. We had a guest speaker who is a past professor and also a medical social worker. Students were interested in hearing about medical social work and getting involved in the field,” club president, Rachael De Graff said.
Students were presented with certificates of recognition from the club. Freshmen and sophomores really benefited from the event, as they had the opportunity to be introduced to the new field. They were able to learn from upperclassmen students who are halfway or more through the program.
“Students get a chance to volunteer in organizations and that gives them an idea of things they would like to do or not do. This benefits the students because they get to learn about different options in their field and their positions,” De Graff said.
The event is a requirement for students, who must attend at least three of these events to graduate. With different themes each year, the SWAT training helps students get a taste of what they will be learning for the next four years in college.
At this particular training, students learned how medical social workers have to be fast and open-minded.
“Medical social workers have to be fast, quick on their feet, and fast-thinkers because you are going to see different things and different kinds of people. The thrill is something to look forward to. The events are helpful to us as students because it gives us a view of how to be a social worker in mental health, medical, school settings, etc.” club treasurer, Jessica Carara said.
Julia Swanson, a networker for Diakonia, says that her favorite part of the club is “getting to know younger social work majors and help them learn more about our amazing program here at Olivet.”
She continued, saying that [it is] “amazing to connect with professors who care so much about you personally and professionally. There is fellowship with other majors who have a similar heart for the broken.”
The purpose of Diakonia is service, with the intent to get social work majors involved in campus and campus activities. This October, a group of the Diakonia students volunteered to split wood for the community.
Diakonia will be hosting their Christmas party in December and their social work banquet this spring. They will have food, activities, and a guest speaker. More training will be included for all students in the field.