Sunday, December 14, 2008

Article: Enlisting the Aid of Hairstylists as Sentinels for Domestic Abuse

I thought this was a great article. Stylists are being taught how to recognize the signs of domestic abuse and how to refer their clients for help. This seems like such a smart and effective way of reaching women who really need help!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Article: Suing to Raise a Payment of Last Resort

Interesting article from regarding NYS welfare.

Here's a blurb:

New York State has not raised its basic payment for people on welfare since 1989, forcing many recipients to skip meals, wear hand-me-downs and spend many days confined to their homes because they lack the $4 needed for a subway trip, according to a lawsuit filed on Monday.

For the entire article, go to:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

LMSW Prep Class

So, a few of us went to the lmsw prep class yesterday at Hunter College. I think I can speak for all of us and say that the class is well worth the money. The instructor was fantastic and alleviated some of my fears over the test.

If you were thinking about taking the class I would say go for it.

Now I just have to sign up for the test!!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Eloisa Cartonera y Radio La Colifata

hey everyone,

i'm in buenos aires and just wanted to share two awesome projects that i read about in the BsAs TimeOut for Visitors. it's always exciting and inspiring to hear about all the creative projects that people are using to bring positive change around the world!

the first is Eloisa Cartonera, an innovative publishing company uniting cartoneros, who sift through garbage for recyclables, with well respected South American authors.
i couldn't find a link to the TimeOut article, but here are two that explain it better than i could. check it out:

the second is Radio La Colifata (Crazy Radio in BsAs slang), the first radio show to broadcast live from a psychiatric hospital, started by Alfredo Olivera in 1990. the article was about how manu chao loves and supports the project, and collaborated with them on a cd, and apparantly there's a documentary in the works. here's a bbc article:
and their website:


Sunday, November 9, 2008

LMSW Test Prep

Hey Everyone,

Moira sent us information about signing up for the LMSW test prep class on Dec. 6. I decided to enroll for it as well; I just want to get this thing over with.

"To Register Click Here"

I had my NASW ID number (which I found on the back of my membership card). I'm not 100% positive that you need to have your ID number, but I would imagine you would to get the $85 rate. You can call the NASW-NYC office (212) 668-0050 to find out your ID number.

DATE: Saturday, December 6, 2008

SESSION HOURS: 6 hours (10:00AM-5:00PM)

LOCATION: Hunter College School of Social Work 129 E. 79th St. 1st Floor Auditorium

PRESENTER: Dawn Hall Apgar, PhD, LSW, ACSW

LMSW Test Preparation
This workshop will provide attendees with test-taking strategies for correctly answering examination questions. A framework for critical analysis of examination questions will be presented, and the instructor will use sample questions to illustrate important concepts. ractice questions will be used to familiarize attendees with items in each content area. Attendees should bring highlighters with them to this workshop. A 257 page manual (only available to attendees and included in the fee) will be distributed at the workshop.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Mint personal finance

Hey everyone,

I commented below, but I just tried out (thanks to Katie's suggestion) and so far it looks really helpful. I was a little afraid, because you have to put in all of your banking info (username, password, etc.), but it really gives me a clear picture of how I'm using my money and how my reality is that I simply don't make enough :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Get your vote on!!!!!

If you don't know the location of your polling site, you can do one of the following:
  • Search with the
  • Call the Voter Phone Bank at 1.866.VOTE.NYC
  • E-mail your complete home address to and you'll be e-mailed your polling location. (Please put in the subject line the borough in which you reside.)
Polling sites are open 6:00 A.M. to 9:00 P.M.
--EXPECT LONG LINES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Polling places are located throughout the city. You can vote ONLY at your designated polling place. Make sure you are at the correct polling site and Election District/Assembly District (ED/AD) for your address.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Article: Mental Health in Iraq

This is an interesting story on the state of mental health services in Iraq:

Doctors work to rescue patients in Iraq's mental health system

  • Patients crowd filthy rooms at Iraq's sole facility for treating severe mental disorders
  • Doctor says the mentally ill men and women have nowhere else to go
  • But health workers hope change for the better will come

By Phil Black

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The man sits gently rocking on the bed, one hand clutching a cloth, the other hiding his face from view.

Few patients ever leave Al Rashad hospital, doctors say.

Few patients ever leave Al Rashad hospital, doctors say.

He doesn't look up and he doesn't want to talk. His body language screams despair.

Across the tiled room, other men are sitting on thin, filthy mattresses atop metal bed frames.

"Our life is miserable. It is dirty. The food is bad. Life is very bad here," says one of them, Abu Ismaeil. "I'm always hungry. I do not want to lie. Shame on me if I lie."

Yet, in Iraq, these are some of the luckier ones, and even Abu Ismaeil agrees. Without the hospital. "I would commit suicide," he said.

Their clothes and surroundings may be drab, but these mentally ill people are fortunate to be in Al Rashad Hospital, Iraq's only treatment facility for severe psychiatric disorders.

More than 1,000 patients, most of them suffering chronic schizophrenia, call the bleak buildings home.

Through their individual stories, there is one overwhelmingly common theme -- abandonment. In a country where life is difficult for the healthy, the mentally ill are seen to bring shame and greater hardship to families.

Dr. Raghad Issa Sarsam, a psychiatrist, says most of his patients have been rejected by their loved ones. Without the hospital, they would be wandering outside, begging, he said.

"They have no place else to stay but here," he said. "Otherwise, they would be on the streets, and I think that would be inhuman."

But once in the hospital, few ever go home again.

Former English teacher Um Ibrahim has not seen her husband and children in three years, since being admitted.

"I want to go to my family," she said in the women's ward.

But they don't want her, and that is common among the patients, Sarsam said.

"They are already rejected by their families because of their chronic illness. They don't want them anymore, even if they become a bit better."

Doctors at Al Rashad Hospital say the numbers of people needing help will continue to grow because of the nationwide trauma suffered during and since the overthrow of President Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Some hope that Iraq's health minister, Salih al-Hasnawi, himself a psychiatrist, might begin to effect change.

The doctors are right to have some cause for optimism, according to Dr. Mohammed Al-Uzri, an Iraqi-born psychiatrist now based in Leicester, England, who was recently with al-Hasnawi in Baghdad for Iraq's third National Conference on Mental Health that agreed on five themes to make improvements.

"There is so much need, you can make a huge difference without much of a budget. We have huge human resources [in Iraq] and a huge amount of resilience," said Al-Uzri, who chairs a subcommittee on Iraq for Britain's Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Al-Uzri acknowledged the huge challenges that lie ahead for the mental health service and broader health system, which suffered through decades of neglect in the Hussein era and continues to do so amid the war. While he said Iraq did not have to start from scratch, as it had a history of good health care, he agreed that organizing care for the mentally ill remains rare right now.

"Mental health services are providing for a small part of the population. [Most needs] are being met -- or unmet -- by whatever else is available. Families are taking the burden of that."

But there is the will to change things, said Al-Uzri, who was able to meet health workers at this month's conference, which was held for the first time inside Iraq -- itself a visible sign of progress.

And the need for mental health care is likely just to grow and grow, even as Iraq becomes more peaceful, Al-Uzri said.

"We are beginning to see, with the security improving, all kinds of services are needed, " he said.

"A year ago, all people worried about was staying alive and having something to eat. Now, it's becoming more and more involved."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Loan Consolidation

Hey everyone,

Not sure if anyone still needs this kind of information, but in case you are interested in consolidating your student loans you can go to this website: You can fill out an application online or you can call (800) 557-7392 to have an application mailed to you (I also called and asked some questions).

I hadn't realized it, but apparently no other lenders are consolidating loans due to some legislation that went into place last October I believe.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Style tips from Seniors

One of the things I most loved about working with seniors was their style! They have seen numerous fashion trends come and go, they are not afraid to take fashion risks, they dress in what pleases them, and they love to accessorize.

If your having a hard-time coming up with new and fantastic outfits to wear, take a tip or two from some of the seniors featured in Advanced Style. From dapper three-piece suit, gobs of funky jewelery, vividly colored and patterned fabrics to monochromatic dressing, these seniors will become your fashion muses.

California Voter Info

For Californians living outside the state, here are some handy links to keep you in the loop. Voter registration deadlines are approaching fast!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Free theater tix!

Another tip to be cool and enjoy a night out.
Sign up for free tickets for fun shows.
I have tickets for October 23rd. If anyone's interested, let me know.

Free/Cheap Software for Non-profits offers donated or super cheap software to non-profits:)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Useful Computer Tips

We spend bulk of our time in front of the computer and thought these tips might be helpful!
Especially when your boss is popping behind your back and you have to switch from the gchat to a excel spreadsheet..

TECHNOLOGY October 2, 2008 Pogue's Posts: Tech Tips for the Basic Computer User David Pogue Last week, I wrote an entry on my blog that began like this: “One of these days, I’m going to write a book called, ‘The Basics.’ It’s going to be a compendium of the essential tech bits that you just assume everyone knows–but you’re wrong. “(I’ll never forget watching a book editor at a publishing house painstakingly [...]

Friday, October 3, 2008

Good Personal Finance Website keeps track of everything you spend for you... good for making a budget;)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

YNPN(Young Nonprofit Professionals Network)

Their email list is quite resourseful with job posts, events, q&a...You can advertise your event too! This is where I got the infomation about fitness for nonprofit.

Their website is and you can sign up for the email list there!

*Courtney, do I get any prize for being an active blogger? ;P

Seeing the Show Without Breaking the Bank

Yes, this is how I saw Rent(4times), AvenueQ, Wicked, In the heights(2times) in the front row for $25 or something.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fitness for Non-profit professionals

This is the email I got from ynpn mailing list and I thought it can be helpful to someone.
They offer reduced price class for non-profit professionals and teachers, and have fitness programs for obese children.
I would love to do a training in the park but Brooklyn is just too far...
But training sesh (instead of study sesh? lol) and farmer's market on Saturday morning sounds very appealing!

Are you a Non-Profit Professional or Teacher looking for a fun, budget-friendly way to get into shape?

Our Fit 4 Life NYC Fitness Boot Camp is the go-to place for the busy New York City Non-Profit Professional or Teacher who wants to get fit and healthy.

What you will receive:
Classes designed for all levels of fitness.
Lose weight and inches off the waist, thighs and hips.
Tons of variety including our popular Kickboxing Calorie Burn class.
Increase your strength while toning and sculpting your body.
Boost your energy to get you through those long days.
Reduce stress!
Supportive, small group environment.
Convenient Morning and Evening classes
Try out one of our complimentary classes:
Monday, September 29th
7-8 a.m. (Fort Greene park)
6:30-7:30 p.m. (Studio

Thursday, October 2nd
6:30-7:30 p.m. (Studio)

Saturday, October 4th
10-11 a.m. (Fort Greene Park - check out the Farmer's Market after class)

Studio Location: 310 Atlantic Avenue b/t Hoyt and Smith Streets
By Train: F or G to Bergen; 2 or 3 to Hoyt; A or C to Hoyt/Schermerhorn; 4 or 5 to Borough Hall

Fort Greene Park: Fort Greene, Brooklyn
By Train: B, Q, R to Dekalb Ave.; G to Fulton; C to Lafayette; 2, 3, 4, 5 to Nevins

To take advantage of the complimentary classes or to register for the 4-Week October Slim-Down Boot Camp please contact us at 718-210-3374, email to or visit
What Non-profit Professionals & Teachers are saying about the program:
"This is the first time in years I put on my summer clothes and they weren't tight!" - Alicia, Teacher
"The boot camp class for me is a fun alternative to the gym and I can feel muscles getting stronger." - Laura, Manhattan - Non-profit arts and education Program Coordinator
"The Boot Camp classes are so different from regular workouts because they are challenging and fun. I really look forward to them all day and feel great afterwards." - Kelly, Non-profit Program Associate
"I have lost a few pounds after only a few weeks. More importantly, I feel so much better." - Gerry, Brooklyn - Non-profit Development Associate
"The community and positive atmosphere make it enjoyable. It's not isolating like a gym." - Jackie, Manhattan - Non-profit Media Organization
"Boot Camp is the best thing since sliced bread." Tahira, Bronx - Afterschool Program Coordinator
Have a Happy & Healthy Day.
Emil Ramnarine, FounderFit 4 Life NYCFit 4 Life Kids718-210-3374

Cheap Bus Options

Here's an article from nytimes about cheap buses that are cleaner and less sketchy than chinatown buses.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Preparing for Rising Energy Costs

I ran into a social worker who was training at DFTA and she sent me the info for this free conference:
"Managing Energy Costs? Use the power of action."
October 15, 2008
8:30am to 11:30am
National Grid Auditorium
One MetroTech Center, Brooklyn NY 11201
RSVP by October 9th

Topics to be addressed include:

  • What's on a gas bill? For instance, what exactly is a “Gas Delivery Charge”?
  • How do rising energy costs impact National Grid bills and customers?
  • How can we all use “The power of action” to do something about it?
  • How can customers access important resources, like HEAP?
  • Are there any National Grid programs might be able to help with energy and cost management?
You’ll get answers to these questions and more. Attendees will also have an opportunity to pose questions to our panel of experts, including a representative from HRA - HEAP!

Our goal is to leave you better able to assist energy consumers - from understanding the bill, to lowering it, and getting help to pay for it when necessary.

This FREE event is open to all. Please see the attached flyer for details, and feel free to distribute it widely. Don't miss the opportunity to take home free giveaways and maybe win our raffle drawing for a "Green" gift basket! To RSVP, please reply to or

If you have any questions or wish to be excluded from future National Grid Consumer Advocacy Department communications, please respond to this email.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Nicole D'Anna
Consumer Advocate
National Grid
1 MetroTech Center, 2nd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel: 718-403-2095
Fax: 718-403-2818



Saturday, September 27, 2008

LMSW Study Sesh: October 11

Hey! So, our next study session will be:

Date: Saturday, October 11
Time: 11:30am
Location: Barnes and Noble (Union Square) cafe on the 3rd floor

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Food Bank for New York City

Last weekend I was at the Last Supper Festival and met some representatives from the Food Bank for New York City. Apparently they have programs for school-aged children and seniors (and I asked about regular ole' adults and the person I spoke with said they work with everyone).

Anyway, I was told that they educate people on how to eat healthy and how to use their food stamps in the best way possible.

After exploring the website I also found that they offer free tax assistance too!

Here's a little more information about their "CookShop for Adults" educational program:

"CookShop for Adults focuses on two groups: adult food stamp recipients and seniors.

The CookShop for Adults food stamp recipient initiative provides monthly workshops that improve the ability of participants to prepare home-cooked, nutritious meals for themselves and their families. Program participants learn how to best find, store and cook fresh, in-season food as well as the benefits of a healthy diet based on whole, minimally processed food — with a special emphasis on locally grown produce."

Free Yoga

Lauren Taylor recommended I get in touch with a woman who offers free yoga "to those among us whose spirit has been challenged by illness, abuse, neglect, addiction and other life obstacles."

She has trained people and is apparently looking for sites to place her trainees at. I have not spoken with her yet so I can't say much about my experience, but definitely check out the website.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Coalition for Debtor Education

Hi Everyone:)

Courtney was asking if anyone had ideas for potential seminars for her students. I sent her this info by e-mail, but I thought it was a good opportunity to post a resource.

The Coalition for Debtor Eduation "is a not-for-profit organization whose continuing mission is to assist consumers, with a particular emphasis on vulnerable populations, in understanding and improving their ability to manage their financial affairs."

Being a social worker paying off columbia loans I'm sure I could benefit from some of this info as well;) Hope the information is helpful!


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Oh and . . .

OK, so I know I tried something like this on Facebook, but it hasn't really taken off. Hopefully this format will work better for everyone. Please bookmark the blog and contribute as often as possible, because if each of us does not contribute we'll have a sittin' blog!



Today I was talking with several social work gals and we decided that as new social workers we need a place to share resources for our clients and ourselves.

If you need something or want to share something that could help your fellow social workers you can do that here!