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Huntington social work majors participate in LEAD

Huntington, Ind.-Eight Huntington University social work majors attended the 10th annual Social Workers Legislative Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD) in Indianapolis on Feb. 18.

The students included juniors Samantha Sutorius from Fort Wayne, Ind.; Sarah Cherry from Huntington, Ind.; Megan Fulton from Huntington, Ind.; Leah Kneubuhler from Harlan, Ind.; Emily Zimmerman from Berne, Ind.; Melissa Keighin from Carlock, Ill.; Callie Buschman from Remington, Ind.; and Shalicia Holman from Indianapolis, Ind.

LEAD is intended to give students an understanding of how the governmental system works and how social work can and is involved. The day started out with breakout sessions addressing children and families, poverty, health and mental health care issues, civil liberties and GLBT, housing and property taxes, ethics and advocacy issues, political action and diversity and disproportionality.

After the breakout sessions, all of the LEAD attendees headed to the State House to meet with the legislators to hear about the progress of particular bills. The students then were encouraged to meet with their own legislators to discuss where social workers stand on pending bills. Huntington University junior social work majors follow up with these contacts through a research assignment on a selected legislative bill, contacting their legislator through a written request for support and more information on the proposed bill.

Universities, colleges and practitioners were invited to attend the event.

In 2008, LEAD had a record turnout with 600 social work students, faculty and practitioners in attendance.