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Spotlight on Anchor House Intern Veronica Tucker

Veronica Tucker is an Anchor House intern who is studying social work at the University of Louisville.
Veronica Tucker is an Anchor House intern who is studying social work at the University of Louisville.

Anchor House is fortunate to have both undergraduate and graduate students serving as interns over the years. One of our goals is to create career paths for interns. Many of our previous interns are now staff at Anchor House, including our Executive Director, Director of Youth Services, Connect to Home Case Manager, and Coordinated Entry Assessment System (CEAS) Case Manager. We are spotlighting one of our current interns, Veronica Tucker, and her experience at Anchor House.

For 26 years, Veronica was a corrections officer, working with both adults and youth during her career, before retiring in 2013. Being a corrections officer and a social worker may seem like two totally different careers, but as Veronica explained, in her experience both jobs needed similar skills. For instance, Veronica was able to build trust with the inmates, which resulted in them opening up to her. She also had a way of de-escalating situations with the inmates and getting them to accept help. Veronica would also connect inmates with the onsite social worker, and gave them advice on what to do and how to ask for what they needed when they saw a social worker.

After her retirement, Veronica decided to become a social worker. In 2022, Veronica transferred from Camden County Community College to the University of Louisville to pursue her bachelor’s degree in social work online. When researching agencies where she could do her internship, Anchor House was on the top of Veronica’s list of places, and her college approved the placement.

When asked about her experience at Anchor House, Veronica said, “It has been enlightening. I just thought it was a shelter, but it was more than I thought it was. Anchor House is more involved with the community and young people.”

“You think you have empathy, but then you are shown empathy,” Veronica explained about her work at Anchor House and with our youth. She noted that many of the youth are lacking important life skills, like managing and saving money, as well as getting a job and keeping it. Life skills are a huge component of all our programming for this reason.

“The biggest thing for me is goal setting,” said Veronica. She explained that youth often felt that once they are not homeless, that is enough. Yet, Veronica believes that youth need to have a transitional plan to prevent becoming homeless again, and she has stressed to the youth that she’s worked with the importance of taking care of an apartment once they secure one. As part of our case management work with youth, Anchor House helps youth to create this transitional plan. Recently, Veronica has also been helping youth build their resumes to find the right job.

Veronica was never shy in giving her opinions and sharing ideas. Soon after starting her internship, she brought up that our website should have the capability to be translated into Spanish. This was already in the works, but we were happy that Veronica provided this feedback. She also translated our brochure into several languages, including French and Portuguese, based on the needs of our youth.

Most of Veronica’s internship was spent assisting in our Connect to Home Program, but she also spent time in other programs, most recently with our Coordinated Entry Assessment System (CEAS) team, giving her another perspective on our programming.

“I got a chance to work with youth that are housed [Connect to Home] and individuals that are completely homeless [CEAS],” Veronica said. She got to attend tenant meetings for Connect to Home which she enjoyed, and most recently shared that in her work with CEAS, she got to advise a youth on steps to pursue a career in the culinary field.

As Veronica explained, she got to see programming “at all different levels, not just one thing.” She added, “I would not have had half the experience at another place; I got lucky.”

We sure feel lucky, too.

Veronica is a devoted mother of one daughter. She is graduating on Mother’s Day weekend, and we could not think of a better Mother’s Day gift. Thanks to Veronica and all of our interns, past and present.

Would you or someone you know be interested in an internship at Anchor House? Learn more and apply today!