What and Where: Case manager, Housing and Urban Development, Veteran Affairs’ Supportive Housing.
How: DeSimone grew up in a family with many military service members and always wanted to find a way to give back to this population. She decided that becoming a social worker was the best avenue for that. Once she was in the master’s program, seeking a field placement with Veteran Affairs was the natural choice for her. During her internship, she worked with homeless veterans in a substance-use treatment program. It was a challenging experience, particularly when she had clients who relapsed, but she said she would not exchange it for anything else.
“I learned so much from my clients and found the experience to be pivotal in my overall learning in the master’s program. I went into the internship a little hesitant and I left with a passion and a fire to work with this population that I did not know I had,” DeSimone said.
Applying for the job was a “no brainer,” De Simone said. “This position allows me to continue to grow in the field of military social work, which is my passion.”
The future: In her new position, DeSimone will case-managing veterans who have been stably housed for more than six months, helping them to achieve their goals. She hopes to continue developing her clinical skills and growing as a social worker to best serve the military population.
“I am forever grateful for the social work education UT Austin has afforded me, and for my final field placement, without which I highly doubt I would have gotten this job,” DeSimone said.