Naomi is pursuing a Master's in Social Work from Rutgers with a clinical focus and working to obtain an Addiction Counselor Training certificate. She identifies as Dominican and Puerto Rican. Her family's immigrant background inspires her community-driven mindset. She is motivated to help people adapt and feel stable during their resettlement. Naomi strongly believes in the power of being a resource.
She brought these values to her internship with the IRC in NJ's Intensive Case Management Unit, nestled in Resettlement & Placement. Naomi has been working hard to ensure clients know existing resources and the different paths worth pursuing to secure them. She has supported client check-in calls, supporting clients with medical needs such as looking for referral specialists or coordinating with Horizon New Jersey for insurance inquiries. These check-in calls have been integral to ensuring clients feel supported.
One key challenge Naomi has encountered in dealing with denials and subsequent appeals of clients' various applications. Some clients struggle with their health, so some need ongoing accommodation (often for their disability). These realities have posed a challenge in supporting clients with navigating inaccessible institutions or long waiting periods. Naomi has learned that it takes time to find the right solution to help clients with these challenges. Despite these challenges, she shares a success story of connecting clients with a food pantry, which made them feel better after a tough week. She especially enjoys supporting clients with practicing their English language skills during check-in calls.
Naomi has learned how important it is to exercise patience and understanding. This internship has inspired her to advance in the social work field and bring lessons from her internship to future field placements. Further, Naomi has gained critical insight into clients' needs and how to navigate the various public benefits systems.