Banke Oginni

2018 recipient of the Audrey J. Harris Summer Internship Award


Interned at Arc Maternal and Infant program

I am a 5th year senior at UW-Madison, majoring in Sociology with a certificate in Criminal Justice. I aspire to go to grad school and become a social worker.  

This summer I interned at ARC Maternal and Infant program in Monona. ARC is a nonprofit organization that is women and child focused. They have treatment programs and facilities that help and rehabilitate women, children and families that have been victims of abuse of all kinds. ARC MIP focuses on women who have been incarcerated and are pregnant or have recently given birth. ARC MIP houses up to 12 women and their children for a period of 6 months and give the women opportunities to get treatment for their AODA issues, facilitates group sessions that create and foster better skills to combat criminality, strengthen relapse prevention skills and help them work through the trauma that they have encountered in their life. ARC MIP also bring in experts on childbirth and parenting to help the mothers with the new life they have brought into the world, with programs like Baby Basics and Post-Partum facilitation, ARC MIP helps these women in every aspect of their life and makes sure they learn new skills before leaving the facility.  

Before starting my placement at ARC Maternal and Infant program, I was very nervous because I had never been around women who have been incarcerated, who have done hard drugs and have been through very traumatic experiences that could alter their thinking and their actions. I didn’t know what to expect because my life path is very different from these women and I felt that my privileges and naivety would hinder them and me from getting to know each other to be able to work closely and help them. I made sure that I stayed true to myself and made sure to listen to these women. I sat back and listened to their experiences to understand what they needed and how they would like to be helped. As an intern, I got to facilitate and lead group sessions with the ladies, done tasks like administering UA tests and giving the women their prenatal meds, and I also helped hold their babies when they were in one on one meetings with their case managers. Through the work I’ve done as an intern at ARC MIP, I realized how much I love and enjoy helping these women and I understand that people in the same situations deserve social workers and case managers that want to see them do good and strive to advocate for them and their needs.  

Through this internship, I have found a passion I never knew I had. Every afternoon when my shift at ARC MIP was over, I would walk away with a smile. I was excited to come in the next day and be of service to the senior staff and to the women. I was excited to come in and do something and get to know the ladies and see their humanity, something that they have been denied before coming into the facility. Working with ARC, I have a fire in my heart to continue to advocate and assist women and children that have been affected by drug abuse, physical mental and sexual abuse. Through this internship I have accepted a part time position at ARC MIP and I am very excited to learn more and have more opportunities to do good for these women and their children.