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UTSA social work students help homeless women gain control of their lives

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(April 21, 2014) -- Graduate students in the UTSA College of Public Policy Department of Social Work are facilitating a series of events to empower former homeless women as part of a semester-long service-learning project, Positive Development: Reframing the Future. The events are organized in cooperation with Haven for Hope and the Center for Health Care Services (CHCS).

The social work students are working with a group of women currently receiving benefits from the CHCS In-House Wellness program and living on the Haven for Hope campus. The events are designed to equip participants with the confidence and tools to allow them to live independently in the community by focusing on empowering their "mind, body and spirit."

"Our project, Positive Development, is meant to provide self-esteem building opportunities for this amazing group of women," said Kristin T. Lopez, a graduate student in the Advanced Communities course and a project coordinator. "In the process, we are making human connections by learning about their lives, their strengths, hopes and dreams, and barriers are breaking down in ways that we hope will empower them to achieve their future successes."

Each semester, the Advanced Communities course taught by Robert Ambrosino, senior lecturer in the UTSA Department of Social Work, takes classroom learning into the community through hands-on projects aimed at transforming lives.

The Advanced Communities students are in charge of completing all aspects of the semester-long projects. In the past, students in the Advanced Communities class have worked closely with Haven for Hope on several projects including launching a recreational soccer program, painting a mural on the Haven for Hope campus and the B Heard Music Festival. According to Ambrosino, Positive Development is the most ambitious project any of his classes has ever attempted.

Since the project got underway, the students have organized Zumba and basic self-defense classes, nutrition and cooking classes, and special makeover sessions, which included make-up, hair and spa sessions.

The series of events will conclude May 3 with a red carpet-themed candlelight dinner at First Presbyterian Church. The participants will be treated to free luxury transportation to and from the event and have the opportunity to have a free professional photo taken of them for use in future endeavors.

The dinner also will provide community partners and sponsors who have donated to the cause to meet and engage with the participants. The Advanced Community students will cater the event, and a motivational speaker is scheduled. For more information, email Robert Ambrosino.

Positive Development: Reframing the Future is one of the first projects to be featured on UTSA's new crowd-funding website, Launch UTSA, through the UTSA Development Office. For information on how to contribute to the project, visit the UTSA Positive Development Launch website.

>> View photos and learn more about Positive Development events.

>> Learn more about the UTSA College of Public Policy and the UTSA Department of Social Work and Master of Social Work program.

 

 

Events

Thursday, May 5, 5 p.m.

String Project Spring Concert

This end-of-semester concert will feature the 3rd through 8th grade students who have participated in the UTSA String Project this year. The event is free and open to the public.
Buena Vista Theater, Downtown Campus

Friday, May 6, 8 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

The UTSA Department of Physics and Astronomy, Curtis Vaughan Observatory invites everyone to join them for their monthly stargazing event on top of the Flawn Science Building.
Curtis Vaughan Observatory, Main Campus

Sunday, May 8, 1 p.m.

Accordions Across Culture

May’s Free Second Sunday at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures features "Accordions Across Cultures," with performances of Mexican, German and Czech accordion music, a documentary screening and crafts for the kids.
UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures

Monday, May 9, 8 a.m.

The Honeynet Project Workshop

This three-day event will focus on the tools, tactics and motives involved in computer and network attacks. Attendees from around the world will take part in world-class hands-on trainings and technical discussions.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Thursday, May 12, 4 p.m.

Master of Public Administration Open House

Visit with faculty, alumni and students to discuss the benefits of and requirements for a Master Degree in Public Administration and/or the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Administration & Leadership.
Meeting Assembly Room (BVB 1.338), Downtown Campus

Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m.

UTSA Spring Commencement: Ceremony One

UTSA Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Architecture, Construction and Planning, the College of Education and Human Development and the College of Sciences.
Alamodome

Saturday, May 14, 4 p.m.

UTSA Spring Commencement: Ceremony Two

UTSA Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Business, the College of Public Policy and University College.
Alamodome

Sunday, May 15, 2 p.m.

UTSA Spring Commencement: Ceremony Three

UTSA Spring Commencement ceremony for the College of Engineering and the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.
Alamodome

Wednesday, May 18, 3 p.m.

The Great Staff Appreciation Event

The UTSA community is invited to honor the roughly 2,600 UTSA staff members who contribute to the success of the university and its students.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Thursday, May 19, 6 p.m.

Superintendent Certification Program Information Session

Join UTSA faculty and staff, current students, and area central office administrators/program alumni to learn about this exciting accelerated and web-enhanced program leading to Texas Superintendent Certification. The event is free and open to the public.
BVB 1.322, Downtown Campus


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