A program that seeks participants who are in recovery from opioid use or addiction wishing to launch a career helping others with similar life experiences is accepting applications.
The Family Involvement Center and the Mesa Community College Social Work Program are hosting the parent peer support social work scholarship stipend program, according to a release.
Visit mesacc.edu\social-work to learn more and apply to participate. The deadline for receipt of applications is May 15.
The program, which initially launched in fall 2020 and was created as part of a four-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration to Family Involvement Center, is designed specifically to develop careers for individuals based on their life experiences so they may help others dealing with similar circumstances.
Participants selected for the program receive a year of college tuition, live online social work courses at MCC, a computer to access classes and a monthly stipend to cover the cost of Internet service and other living expenses. After completing the first year of classes, which includes work experience through an internship at FIC, participants are eligible to apply for a paid position in an FIC apprenticeship program, continuing education guidance and job placement assistance.
“Watching the initial participants see their life experiences — which are typically categorized as shameful — serve as a strength in this program is one of the most rewarding experiences for our agency and others working in child welfare. We aim to reduce the stigma surrounding recovery while encouraging those struggling through the process to see new possibilities,” Jane Kallal, FIC executive director, said in the release.
Ideal program participants are parents who have lived experiences with child-serving systems such as child welfare and juvenile justice, who have a high school or general education diploma, have lived in Arizona for at least 12 months and can commit to completing course expectations, attending twice weekly classes and completing homework.
Social work is the nation’s No. 1 helping profession and the MCC Social Work Program is a contributor of quality social work students to schools of social work in Arizona, the release states.
“Overcoming significant adversity and challenge makes us stronger individuals. The parents participating in this program are transforming their struggles into strengths,” Dori DiPietro, director of the MCC Social Work program, said in the release. “We hope these future parent peer support specialists will find their new careers rewarding and decide to continue their education at MCC.”