Lauren Szpilzinger was a first year social work intern at John Jay University from Fall 2016 to Spring 2017. Upon the successful completion of her placement with PROVE, she reflected upon her experiences within the program. Regarding her work with veterans' and what she learned during the year, Lauren said:
"I was surprised by the level of commitment and genuine care that many of the veterans have for one another. Oftentimes, people like to broadcast their good deeds, perform acts of kindness in front of others, and do not genuinely care about their fellow man. This is not the case however, with many of the veterans at John Jay. When a new student veteran walks into the lounge, not only does the student receive useful information from the work study students, but also from any veteran in the near vicinity.
At times, I witnessed the compassion through which certain veterans who experience severe symptoms of PTSD or depression are cared for by their fellow peers. Even though these peers have other things going on, and helping another veterans makes them late for a class or function, the peers give a substantial portion of their time towards helping their fellow service member who is in need. Additionally, even the method by which they help the veteran is carefully thought out. I have seen the veterans intuit when a particular service member needs to be spoken to in a soft-spoken manner or in an authoritative-manner similar to a drill sergeant. These thoughtful individuals truly live by the saying, "no one gets left behind."
Lauren is a student at CUNY Silberman School of Social Work
She recently completed her first year placement with PROVE and moved on to her 2nd year in the MSW program.