September 13, 2016

Through the Participant's Eyes: Germans in West Virginia

CIPUSA's affiliate office, West Virgnia Council of International Programs, is hosting two social work participants from Germany this fall.  Learn a little more about them, where they are training, and what they think about West Virignia so far!

WV Lars GuitarLars Christiansen is a social worker and musician from Germany. He also studies health and social management on a part-time basis.  He has been placed at West Virginia University in the Music Therapy department with Dr. Rena Register, at On a Better Note Music Therapy with Amy R. Smith, and at Milan Puskar's Friendship Room, a mental health center in Morgantown, WV. One of his projects is to develop and implement a new music therapy group at the Friendship Room. 

Verena Husing has been placed at Morgantown Area Youth Services Project (MAYSP), a youth intervention program that directly assists high risk youth and adults. It was founded in 1996 by Danny Trejo who is still the Project Director and a licensed social worker. He and his coworker, Juinell Riivald, have been working at MAYSP for 20 years.

Veena_working"After working with Danny and Juinell for a couple of days, I quickly realized that doing this job is not just about getting a salary at the end of the month," said Verena. "It's their passion and their approach to life. I felt welcome from the first minute I arrived at my placement.  Working with MAYSP offers me a hugh opportunity to widen my knowledge about the social system int he U.S. and in West Virginia, and to learn about current social problems and difficulties people from Morgantown and surrounded areas face in their daily life."

"The most exciting experience so far was a court case about a gun shooting that happened back in March. I was able to follow court proceedings for two full days. My coworkers and I went to court and gave emotional support as the defendant was a former MAUSP client."

The three biggest highlights from my time in Morgantown, WV so far are:

  • The REC Center: Exercising at the REC helps me to relax and to re-energize at the same time. The staff is super firendly, group classes are great and I love the climbing wall!

  • White Water Rafting: This CIP event was so much fun and a great team-buliding exercise. I loved the rapids and the cold water splashing on my face.

  • The Mountaineer Football Game: Game day is a huge day in Morgantown!

    Verena with Coworkers

    Verena and Lars_WVU Football game

    Verena white water rafting


    Verena with Danny Trejo and Juinell Riivald at MAYSP
    At the Mountaineer Football Game at WVU
    West Virginia Council of Int'l Programs White Water Rafting Trip on the Lower Yough in Pennsylvania

Posted by Lindsey Walsh on September 13, 2016 at 4:33 PM in Participant Permalink
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