Adelphi Manhattan Center social work program graduate Katie Branagan '15 leveraged her internship at the Ali Forney Center into a dream job working with LGBTQ populations.
by Amanda Hayman ’17
It’s quite a feat to land a job directly out of school, but for Katie Branagan, M.S.W. ’15 the right internship led to a full-time job offer even before she graduated from Adelphi University’s School of Social Work.
“I was offered a full time job the day before graduation in part because of this network that I developed throughout my internship,” Branagan said. She is now a social worker for the Institute for Family Health’s (IFH) Care for the Homeless Program, serving onsite at agencies including the Ali Forney Center— the organization she credits with leading her to her dream job.
As an M.S.W. student in the Adelphi University School of Social Work’s Manhattan Center program, she secured an internship at the Ali Forney Center, which is dedicated to the protection and empowerment of homeless LGBTQ youth in the New York City area. For her internship, Branagan provided individual psychotherapy to clients, ran group therapy sessions and facilitated weekly staff meetings.
She was encouraged by her mentor and field instructor Corby Serrano, the director of Emergency Housing at the center, to join the Trans Work Group. The group of staff and interns met monthly to discuss ways to improve the quality of care for transgender and gender nonconforming clients. Posters that Branagan designed when she was serving in the group are still being used to help the staff better understand the terminology and preferred language and pronouns of the transgender community.
Branagan enjoyed her placement at the center so much that she recently successfully nominated Serrano as Adelphi’s 2015 Outstanding Field Instructor of the Year. “Corby has had such a positive impact on my social work career, and I will continue to look to him for guidance in my career,” Branagan wrote in her essay. “His commitment to my social work education and training has empowered me to feel confident and prepared in my practice.”
In her current job, Branagan screens clients at the Ali Forney Center for IFH’s new hormone therapy program, writes psychosocial assessments and works with clients to connect them to appropriate medical care, housing options, health insurance and other benefits.
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