When did you decide to pursue a degree in social work?
I decided to pursue a degree in social work after working in the field for seven years after obtaining my bachelors degree in Psychology. Before applying to MSU’s MSW program I worked with young people experiencing homelessness, abuse/neglect, and juvenile justice situations in Detroit, Chicago, and Metropolitan Kansas City.
Are there any particular events that have had a strong impact on you while working in the field?
I secured a job as a Service Specialist for the State of Michigan for older foster youth after undergrad. My hopes going into that job was that I would get the opportunity to have a major interpersonal impact on the youth that I worked with. I found myself spending more time in court, and preparing reports than actually spending time advocating for youth. I quit that job and moved to Chicago to work with the homeless youth population.
After learning more about the definition of homelessness, and the circumstances that exist for young people dealing with homelessness, I realized that I experienced homelessness during my undergrad years at MSU. Reflecting on my own experiences, and people I knew that went through similar situations, I made the decision to do all I can to eradicate homelessness for young people.
What is your ideal job upon graduation with a degree in Social Work?
I have had experience as a program manager and director for various nonprofit programs dedicated to homeless and disadvantaged youth. My hope is to teach and work with students at the university level, as well as secure funding and community support to establish the first Drop In program for homeless youth in the East Lansing/Mid Michigan area.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not!”
In the world today so many people deal with injustices and the results of self serving behavior by others. I hope that reading The Lorax, interacting with social workers, or just seeing this quote inspires people to put forth effort to make the world a better place through their actions.