Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Meet the Staff: Andrea Orrell


I originally started out at Origin SC as an intern during graduate school.  I interviewed for the internship here and immediately felt that it would be a good fit.  The interview here with my now supervisor, Neah Kelly, and the Executive Director, David Geer, was comfortable, and I could tell that this organization values the people they help every day.  I had interviewed with another organization before interviewing here, but did not feel comfortable at the other organization, so I was beyond thrilled when David offered me the internship on the spot.  It was an area of social work practice that I was not super familiar with, but it sparked my interest and I have become very passionate about this work.  I have experienced the re-branding process of the organization in the short time that I have been here.  I think that this organization is making strides to stay relevant and to continue to be a pillar in the community.  

What has surprised you the most about working at Origin SC?

The thing that has surprised me the most about working at Origin SC is the work environment itself.  I do not feel stressed out coming into work.  Though we have multiple departments, everyone works together and is supportive of each other.  We all work as a team.  I also think that those who are in leadership are very transparent and maintain open communication with everyone in the organization which is a breath of fresh air.  I feel valued as an employee.  

What is an experience that has really shaped who you are? 

When I lived in Indianapolis, I worked in the school system with children.  I helped children develop life skills.  The children I worked with were thought of as having “behavior issues.”  This experience impacted me in a huge way.  I learned about these kids.  I learned that some of them had experienced abuse in their lives.  I learned that many of them had uninvolved parents and family, and I learned that they all had positive potential.  I also worked closely with a Social Worker who I consider to be a mentor.  This experience ignited my passion for helping others.  It is ultimately what led to me choosing to go to graduate school to get a master’s degree in Social Work.  It definitely has shaped me into the person I am today. 

How has Origin SC helped you in your career development?

Origin SC allows me to practice and fine tune my Social Work skills on multiple levels – from micro social work to macro social work.  I get to work with individuals, groups, and the community.  My position here at Origin SC allows me to work in all facets of Social Work.  Additionally, I am supported and encouraged to take advantage of any and all training opportunities available to me.  It is amazing to work for an organization that supports expanding my training and staying relevant in my field.

What is the one thing in this world you are most proud of?

The one thing in the world that I am most proud of is pursuing a field of work that allows me to help others and make a difference in their lives.  I know that the work I do is hard, and that not everyone can do it.  I take pride in that. 

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