Nov 10 2009 Posted: 00:00 GMT
Two NUI Galway students have been awarded the Chicago Student Social Work Scholarships by the Chicago Immigrant Support Centre. First year MA in Social Work Programme students Marie Hoban from Liscarney, Co. Mayo and Bridget O'Hara from Salthill, Galway, will each receive a scholarship of $3,500. This is the second consecutive year that NUI Galway students from this programme have been awarded the scholarship. Starting in January 2010, Marie and Bridget will participate in a 14-week work placement with the Wellspring Personal Care Foundation and the Chicago Irish Project. The placement will see the students working with individuals, families and groups of the Irish immigrant community in Chicago. Marguerita McGovern, Practice Learning Co-ordinator of the MA in Social Work Programme at NUI Galway, said: "International placements are an important resource in the training of professional social workers. Students from the MA in Social Work programme at NUI Galway have the choice of a variety of worldwide placement sites. The student social worker can couple their International placement with an Irish statutory placement in their second year of study. This offers the opportunity to acquire knowledge, skills and values across the spectrum of this course. In this case we have partnered with the Chicago Irish Project and the students involved are given the opportunity to carry out their work placement in Chicago, supporting older Irish people". In 2007, the Chicago Immigrant Support Center, a non-profit organisation serving the needs of Irish Immigrants in Chicago, formed an alliance with Wellspring Personal Care Foundation. Establishing an initiative known as the 'Chicago Irish Project', the organisations have designed a program to identify service needs and improve the quality of life for Irish born older adults living in the Chicago metropolitan area.