This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
A passionate Chicago-area social worker inspires and is inspired by homeless youth whom she works with at the Night Ministry


By NICK GREENHALGH (BA ’15)


CANDACE MUSICK (BSW ’08, MSW ’09) knew from the start that she wanted to help people, but she never intended to spend her days working with teenagers. “I did not want to work with teenagers or kids. I didn’t enjoy being a teenager myself, so why would I want to be sur- rounded by that every day?” Musick says. “But I came in here and fell in love with the work we do.” Musick is the residential services coordinator at the Open Door Youth


Shelter in the West Town neighborhood of Chicago, part of the Night Ministry—a Chicago-based organization that provides housing, health care, and human connection to people experiencing poverty and homelessness around the city. “The youth are just so incredibly resilient and amazing and spunky. It really keeps it interesting and made me fall in love with this work,” she says. While studying at Loyola’s School of Social Work, Musick began


interning with the Night Ministry. After her internship, she was offered a job there and has stayed for the past seven years. Musick coordinates cultural activities, outings, and life-skills groups


POWERFUL FORCE FOR


CHANGE


for homeless youth, spending much of her time in the shelter. She en- joys working directly with the youth in order to motivate them and help them grow as individuals. Musick has served over 100 homeless youth ages 14 to 20 in her


time at the Night Ministry. “I’ve met so many people over the years. It’s incredible to me that youth still come in and say, ‘Hi, Ms. Candace,’ and want to talk to me,” she says. “I know they’ve encountered so many people in their lives. That speaks to the connections we make.” For Musick and the Night Ministry staff and volunteers, joy comes


from seeing young people accomplish small life successes that others may take for granted. “To be able to see a youth get her first job or fill out her first resume and run around the building excited to show everybody…I think those are small and important successes.” Musick attributes much of her achievement to the experience pro-


vided by the School of Social Work. She knew from her first semester at Loyola that social work was the field for her. “My freshman year, first semester, I had Social Work 101. I remember after my first class going home to my roommate and saying ‘This is it. This is what I need to do.’” Musick has seen the field of social work change over the years,


though one thing has remained constant. “Empowerment is a huge part of social work and being a social worker. You’re not always doing the change; you’re helping empower people to make changes for them- selves,” Musick says. “Social work can be a powerful force for enacting change. I think it can totally change communities and people.” L


SUMMER 2015


35


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54