Political Engagement Project Grant Sends Social Work Students to State Capitol

Ferris LEAD
PHOTO CAPTION: Students from Ferris State University's Social Work program pose for a picture outside the Michigan state capitol Oct. 25, as they visit Lansing for Legislative Education Advocacy Day. The event was organized by the Michigan chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and a Political Engagement Project grant helped cover travel costs for the students and faculty who attended.


An opportunity to learn about the impact of legislative activities saw 150 Ferris State University Social Work students, and 10 members of the department’s faculty, attend a National Association of Social Workers-Michigan event in Lansing, Mich., in October.

The Legislative Education Advocacy Day, or LEAD, was held at the Lansing Center, near the State Capitol in downtown Lansing. The participation of Ferris’ contingent attending the event was supported by a Political Engagement Project grant.

The contingent from the university heard from keynote speakers, including Lonnie Scott, from Progress Michigan, who offered insights on campaigning and advocacy communications. As student members of the NASW, there were more than 20 workshops available to those who attended, along with networking opportunities with social justice groups and agency leaders.

Social Work program administrator Wendy Samuels said students from the Big Rapids and Traverse City campuses attended LEAD this year, and support from the Political Engagement Project allowed the university to have a larger presence there.

“Legislation and governmental policy have a significant impact on the industry our students will be supporting as professionals,” Samuels said. “Taking part in LEAD helps them understand that developing a greater awareness on issues, as well as advocacy is important for their clients, and themselves. They get a wealth of knowledge, and faculty are able to bond with students outside the classroom.”