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Inspired by the belief that social work creates positive outcomes

Joanna Llamas[T]he services encompassed within social care have played a significant role in my life on both a personal and professional level. Through these experiences, I have developed a deeper insight into the role of a social worker and the transformative support they provide. Subsequently, this has fueled my ambition to further pursue my education and ultimately support vulnerable people experiencing need. I believe that my strong motivation towards achieving this, combined with practical experience and a passion to protect, invest, and empower others demonstrates my potential as a dedicated student at New York University Silver School of Social Work Masters Program.

My motivation for becoming a social worker stems from my past experiences growing up. I have always had a great interest in helping and working with others. For as long as I can remember I have both witnessed and experienced families in crisis. Facing my personal problems at the tender age of twelve made me insightful beyond my years. My father had an alcohol problem and when my parents divorced, my mother gained custody of my siblings and me. As the eldest child, I had to grow up fast, helping care for my brother and sisters on a daily basis. My childhood involved a lot of outside interventions that helped me understand just how much of a difference social workers can make. I developed empathy and sensitivity towards others, skills that are essential for social work. My personal problems made me determined to become a social worker and use my experiences to help others facing similar difficulties.

Recent events in the United States have brought to light the rampant injustices that our culture has allowed and even encouraged. Moreover, it forced the nation to reflect on the social issues that have deprived communities of color, especially underserved communities of their rights. For decades, government laws and policies, such as redlining, have segregated, demoralized and denied entire communities and populations of their rights. Many of these communities now live under poor conditions in which the quality of the education and economic opportunities afforded to them are significantly reduced when compared to affluent communities. People of color, especially underserved populations deserve to have the same privileges. One excellent way to help alleviate these problems is to adopt the concept of Cultural Humility in an institutional level. Cultural humility stresses the importance of accepting that we can never fully understand another person’s culture but can and should commit ourselves to looking within and without to help rectify inequalities and injustices. It is a societal mindset that helps rid us of power imbalances by forming a bond of mutual respect and collaboration.

Social work is a vital service that delves into the issues and inequalities within society, which can stigmatize and perpetuate suffering. It is a career, which often takes different perspectives into account to protect people and seek out solutions. I perceive it to be a complex and challenging role, but rewarding all the same. I remain optimistic and undeterred in my belief that social work creates positive outcomes for people. This fundamental reason is why I wish to become part of this profession and am confident that studying this graduate program will help me achieve my dreams.

We are proud to announce Joanna Llamas is one of the current LatPro Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

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