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My introduction to Social Work began in an intensely personal experience. Throughout my life, I had problems at home, so I ran away, which resulted in my becoming homeless. For nearly thirty-four years, I struggled with poverty and was fortunate to have a mentor, and social worker in XXX help me get my life together, change direction, get a job and secure a home, setting me on a path towards healing my pain. She provided me with constant support and gave me a sense of hope that everything would be fine. In reality, I was given a gift, having an advocate that truly cared for her client and treated me with the utmost of dignity. I was left wanting to do more for the people around me, using my experiences and lessons learned to help others who may be struggling with the same problems. Through helping others, my own struggles will never be in vain. Coupled with this is my intense interest in and desire to understand in greater depth the human mind and spirit. For me, the best avenue for serving the community is by becoming a professional XXX, focusing my passion for improving the lives of the people around me. One of the biggest inspirations in my life is my family, particularly my son. He is the rock in my life, keeping me focused and motivated, with an unswerving aim to obtain the finest graduate Social Work education possible. Completing my XXX will enable me to aid in the amelioration of lives, by increasing their function, making them more effective in their own lives regardless of their assorted difficulties.
Thanks to my own Social Worker and mentor, and my enthusiasm for wanting to reach out to others, I was able to find a XXX. I started working with youth from different ethnic backgrounds that were between the ages of twelve and eighteen. They bore the scars of behavioral and emotional problems, physical and sexual abuse, drugs and alcohol addiction. My primary responsibility while working at the group home is to serve as a positive role model for the adolescents. I found it upsetting to see these veritable children making or being forced by circumstance to taking wrong turns in life.
The same help that I received from my mentor is the exactly the same gift that I would like to give back to others, particularly at-risk adolescents. I want to show them that there is a better life and future available if they choose to make the right decisions, to end the downward spiral. As a counselor, I help them foster good decision-making, coping, social, and life skills, tools that they can use to making their lives more productive and positive. Even more than this, I show them that utilizing these tools will lead to more personally fulfilling, independent, safer, and healthier lives.
Many of the adolescents that I worked with attempted to physically assault the people around them, self-mutilated or threatened to hurt themselves. It was during these critical situations that I would experience problems in knowing what the best clinical approach was when a child was self-harming. I would like to have better tools to help these kids when they are in crises and know whether the interventions are supported by published research. I hope that by earning a Master's in Social Work I can achieve that. My goal is to prevent these individuals from going back into the system or simply falling further through societal cracks. Indeed, my own research interests include, but are not limited to effective ways of preventing minority groups from re-entering into the social services system, ways of ending the revolving door of perpetual dysfunction.
My desire to help others is a manifestation of my caring heart, and I have found a viable outlet in the form of Social Work. Nothing would bring me more personal, professional or spiritual satisfaction than to help the poor, the hurt, and those whose lives have dealt them a bad hand, at all costs. I have always lived by the motto do unto others as you would have done unto you, and feel that the best way to do this is by furthering the ideal of social justice in the way I live and work. Social justice is the inherent worth and dignity of every person and the right of everyone to be treated with respect. Only when we as a society truly endeavor to see the world through the eyes of the less fortunate, can we truly empathize with one another. Only when the most vulnerable among us are cared for can we consider ourselves to be a moral and just society. Those who cannot demand social justice for themselves must have a voice to demand it for them. It is my hope and confidence that by earning a XXX I can be that voice.
Relationships that we have with others are very important to our growth and well-being. We all form relationships with others during our lifetime, and these relationships can make all the difference and bring an ample measure of fulfillment. Whether these relationships are with our family, friends, or others, it is important to have healthy and productive relationships. The benefits include a higher level of self-esteem, improvements to our mental and emotional health and also help enrich our lives. Our personal wellbeing is brought about when we have derived a sense of purpose and meaning for our lives, developing as a person and living a productive life.
The relationships we have with others can benefit us throughout all stages of our life. Through our relationships, we are sustained and motivated by our personal growth and development. Relationships strengthen our bonds with other people and builds trust. From this sense of trust, we find that our self-esteem, self-confidence and our wellbeing is improved. They continue to provide us with the support that we need to grow and handle challenges that we may face in the near future. It is important for individuals to listen to each other in order to work through their problems. In our relationships, people should respect, support and trust each other. Relationships undeniably change or adapt themselves over time, but this is only a reflection of how we all change as individuals, products of our experiences. Having positive relationships with others is essential and so is trust. Trust influences everyone we come into contact with. It affects the quality of every relationship, every communication and every effort in which we are engaged. As a social worker, I bring my patience and willingness to listen to my future clients, building the trust that is so integral to my clients healing of themselves and their lives.
The individuals whom I want to assist in this endeavor come from different races and cultures. Being aware that cultural differences affect behavior, views, ways of thinking and learning is integral to assisting in a system that is only becoming increasing multicultural given the influx of immigrants into the US social services system. At the same time, we must respect our differences, irrespective of where people come from geographically or socio-economically - what their beliefs are, culture or ethnicity. Each of us is unique and has much to learn and teach each other. For example, I consider myself to come from a diverse background. My heritage stems from two distinct and interesting cultures. My father is of African descent and my mother is Mexican. I was raised mainly by my mother, and grew up in San Juan, a small town in Hidalgo. The county was 80% Hispanic and Latino. We all interacted with one another regardless of our backgrounds. Because of the people I grew up around, I had the opportunity to learn and become fluent in Spanish, a source of pride in my own heritage. I always assumed, wrongly, of course, that anyone who spoke Spanish was of Mexican heritage. I began to learn about the diversity of Spanish individuals and learned that not just people of Mexican background know Spanish, but a multitude of other nationalities. My curiosity about people's backgrounds grew and I frequently asked other Spanish speakers where they were from. One day, there was a family sitting next to us and I overheard one of them, a woman, speaking Spanish, and I immediately assumed she was from Mexico. Turning to ask her where she was from, I was surprised to learn she was from Honduras. In that moment, I learned that if we never ask questions about someone's culture, then we would never learn to recognize their differences and similarities. If more people took the time to inquire about each other, our lives could be greatly enriched.
It pains me greatly when I see individuals whose lives have been turned upside down because of bad choices or simply coming to a bumpy road in their lives, become homeless. While I can relate to this because I was once homeless, and am intimately aware of the struggles, I recognize now that sometimes all people need is a little to help to get them back on track. I want to provide these lost souls with the necessary tools and resources that can help them with their lives. The most important part of my plan of action is to set up objectives and goals for each individual, with each individual receiving counseling to help them with their unique needs. For example, a homeless person who was addicted to drugs would need to be first rehabilitated and helped with his or her addiction. A person who lost their home to financial issues could benefit from financial planning counseling. The plan would also provide them with family contact if they were unable to reach their family members alone. Above all, as an agency, we need to find job opportunities for our clients, staying with them until they procure a job. For those who do not have an education, learning opportunities and school trade certification classes would be provided to them.
Homelessness is not always so easily solved and one voice is seldom enough to complete this task. These individuals should be put first. It is important that the fortunate get involved in some way to help these people out of their situations. All it takes are small contributions and involvement to make all the difference in the life of another. By working together, we can help the homeless regain hope and change their lives. Ultimately, we have the power to affect individuals or an entire family. We can combine efforts with community resources and provide them with the tools that can change their lives. By encouraging hope and promoting opportunity, we could prove to be the very avenue that launches a generation of people whose lives are changed and improved.
I bring with me to the student body and to the Social Work field a strong sense of responsibility, patience and resolve to achieve my goals and improve myself. Moreover, my humility is reflected in my openness to criticism but is combined with a motivation to learn. I want to use my qualities in order to be an effective social worker. To my mind, one of the most important qualities to be a social worker is the commitment and enthusiasm for the profession. I am willing to devote my time and effort to learn and feel great joy when I see my clients taking the first steps towards recovery. My ultimate goal is to help clients help themselves. Social work is a human profession and we need to have feelings for others. I share in my clients pain, and celebrate their joys and accomplishments.
Proof of my commitment to the profession, all that I believe and all that I bring in terms of my abilities is evident in my being nominated for an receipt of an award for Change Leader at my current place of employment. It is only through diligence and heartfelt care for the needs of the clients I have served that I have accomplished this. Looking back at the road that has led me to this point and time, I am eternally grateful for the profession that lifted me up when I had fallen, and was thereafter the footprints in the sand behind me, giving me the tools to repair my life.
I openly admit that, in order to be a better counselor and help to others, there are several areas I need to focus upon. For example, I understand that social workers need to be good problem-solvers in order to work with clients in difficult situations. I recognize that I have to improve my problem-solving skills, and have felt at times that I am not equipped to handle some of the more difficult situations clients can become tangled in and feel this is because of my lacking the right kind of education.
Social Workers must also be good planners, particularly considering the heavy caseloads many are faced with. Thus, good preparation and time management skills are needed, the ability to make/set schedules in a timely manner; I know this is something that I would have to improve upon as far as setting my own schedule. Lastly, I need to hone my existing skills in such areas a conflict management and confrontation.
I think that my greatest personal gift to the program at XXX and later to my community in general is my huge heart. In addition to being a caring and compassionate person, I am also very patient, highly motivated and a very dedicated learner. The challenges that I have experienced in my life have made me who I am today. When I see a client in a hole they cannot get out of, I will get in the hole with them. I will be able to tell them not to worry, I have been here before, and I know the way out. Therefore, I am motivated to help others function more effectively with their problems by providing them with the necessary tools and resources that can help them within their lives. I know that graduate school can be challenging but I am willing to make an effort in your program to learn about theories and models that can help me as a future social worker. I appreciate your consideration for my application.