Monday, August 9, 2010

New Director of Advocacy, Policy & Legislation


After a busy short session, the blog is back with a new staff member!

My name is Kay Paksoy and I am absolutely honored to be introducing myself as the new Director of Advocacy, Policy and Legislation. I graduated from Campbell University in May of 2009 with my BSW. During my years in college, I worked with youth in an organization know as the Governor’s One on One Program that helped juveniles’ find positive mentors. I worked primarily with youth that had been sentenced to community service and helped them find work and other positive outlets during free time on the weekends and holidays from school to help enrich their lives. I also helped promote the organization through advocacy efforts and spreading awareness about the program.
While taking social work classes, my passion always floated towards the macro side of social work. I loved getting to advocate and fight for issues that affect social workers and their clients. In the summer of 2008, I studied abroad in London, England and was privileged to intern with an organization known as Marie Stopes International. While this is primarily an organization that provides health care services for women as well as provide family planning initiatives, I worked in the headquarters with the press department and worked on several projects. The most popular project was known as Zoom In! During this project, we worked with about thirteen other countries and handed disposable cameras to youth in different schools asking them to take pictures of issues that affect them. What an overwhelming response we got! The youth really responded to this project and we complied their stories and pictures into an advocacy effort and presented our findings as well as personal stories from the youth to members at the Houses of Parliament. This was my first true advocacy effort and I was beside myself with excitement and dedication. After that summer, I started my senior year in college and began my internship with NASW. During my work as an intern, I worked on a License Plate bill and Title Protection for Social Workers. I also attended meetings with Jack and Kathy and was also able to reach out to students in local BSW programs. I loved my internship with NASW and was sad to leave at the end of school. I stayed on to do some contract work with Jack throughout the summer. After this, I began working at the Methodist Home for Children in a Level 2 Group Home. I loved my work with the teenagers in the home but my heart kept coming back to advocacy and policy.
Outside of my educational experiences, I have been blessed to work on several mission trip teams both locally and internationally. My more memorable trips have landed me in South Africa. Twice to work with orphans in impoverished areas and also working with an organization in Cape Town, South Africa this past May working with underprivileged kids in not so safe communities helping to provide positive after school care.
I am both nervous and excited to be embarking on this journey and hope it is a positive one for all of us. I am excited to be representing social workers as we gear up for the 2011 Long Legislative Session!

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