At any given time, the Easterseals office in downtown Rutland is buzzing with Castleton alumni and current students.
Easterseals Vermont works hand-in-hand with the Department of Children and Families to find family-centered solutions to social issues facing the state’s communities. Easterseals works with children in DCF custody and provides services to foster and birth parents, including in-home parenting support and coaching to assist with the reunification of parents with their children. Easterseals also provides post-adoption support and services for military members through the Veterans Count Program.
Easterseals has offices in 10 towns and cities throughout the state, with Castleton graduates working at several of them. According to Rutland Program Coordinator Annette Loso, her office recently had three alumni from Castleton’s Social Work Program, but two transitioned into roles with DCF.
“I like hiring Castleton students. They’re always right at the top of my list from the beginning because I know what they’ve learned,” Loso said. “I know how dedicated the professors are and the time they give to students.”
Loso graduated from Castleton with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. It was only while attending Columbia University for her master’s in Social Work did she realize how beneficial her time at Castleton truly was.
“I first realized how lucky I was to have gone to Castleton when I was at Columbia because looking at the incoming students, I was just leaps and bounds ahead of my peers,” she said. “That’s when I realized that I already had all of this, this is something that I already knew. Being at an Ivy League and coming from a small school, I got there and realized what I’ve learned at Castleton.”
Because Loso knows first-hand the benefits of a Castleton education, she regularly welcomes current students in the Social Work Program as interns.
“I’d rather take a Castleton intern than a master’s candidate from another school, honestly. We’ve had such good luck,” she said.
Loso said one thing she enjoys is seeing students graduate from the Social Work Program, get into the field, and grow and develop.
“I think it’s an amazing program. I couldn’t say enough positive things about it,” she said. “Not just from my experience, but also second-hand through all of the interns I’ve had.”