Shane Dershimer’s Story – 2013/2014 Social Work Intern

Shanes picI heard about the Georgia Justice Project field practicum from my Social Work program at Georgia State University.  In a prior class with Dr. Wiley, I was able to interview house representatives (Georgia) policy makers and bill writers working on issues that affect indigent people.  I wanted to be at GJP because I think the best way to support people affected by the criminal justice system is through social work and policy reform. 

I chose the social work field because I want to make a difference for people who have made bad decisions overcome lifelong stigmas as a result.  I came from a rough childhood and was raised by a single Mom.  Although I’m a native of Atlanta, I spent my last three years of high school in Kentucky where my Mom’s family is.  After graduating, I decided to return to Georgia and moved to Conyers.  I attended Athens Technical College which is where I met my wife. I graduated from Georgia Perimeter College with honors and transferred to GSU’s social work program.  I’m a member of the GSU social work club and the honors club.

 My life is full as a dad (we now have a two year old son, Preston), husband, full-time social work student and part-time chef.  One of the things I hope to gain during my time at GJP is experience with clients in the field.  I appreciate GJP’s holistic approach because it enhances the lives of each client.

Right now we live in Loganville which is in Walton County.  I chose GSU because I want to experience the cultural diversity.  I want to spend my time learning how to help people who don’t have the same options as others.

“From the time I’ve been at GJP working with Sanchez, I’ve learned how to use my knowledge while talking with people. He’s opened my eyes to scenarios and situations I hadn’t encountered before.  Most people in suburbia don’t understand the urban side – they live in a cushion.  It’s almost as if they’re trapped in a surreal world. 

I strive to learn more about how to provide service to diverse groups, anyone different from me”.