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Reflections on an internship at Siena

Above: Left to right, Marissa Johnston, Juliet Brown-Graves, and Crystal White make up the social work team at Siena Literacy Center.

Our Wayne State University School of Social Work interns will wrap up their time with Siena this week. We don’t know what we’ll do without them! They reflect on their experiences below.

 Marissa Johnston

It has been an incredible experience to be part of Siena’s community for the past several months. I have been so fortunate to begin my work as a social worker in such a welcoming environment. While working here I have witnessed the determination and fortitude of the learners that come into the building, as well as the compassion and dedication of the tutors.

During my time at Siena, I have assisted with registering new people, making resources more accessible, gathering data for research projects to evaluate the work we are doing, as well as assisting with grant applications to continue to grow Siena’s program.

As I transition into the next phase of my program, I will miss all of the welcoming faces of Siena. I am grateful for the mentorship and support I’ve received from the staff. I will use the knowledge I have gained as I continue supporting, advocating for, and learning from the people I encounter along my journey!


Crystal White

Siena Literacy Center is one of the most cultivated educational facilities in the city of Detroit. Siena holds to its integrity; it is diverse and displays a sense of community to every learner and the community it serves. Being a part of the Siena team is a great first step in my social work journey. Though I was a late start to the Siena family, I appreciate being welcomed to the team. Meeting new people during intakes, assisting where needed, and engaging in the exhilarating world of social work are some of the joys I have been afforded the opportunity to be a part of at Siena. Thank you so much Siena for welcoming me!!  


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