What motivated you to become a social worker?
I had always wanted to volunteer abroad, so in 2010 I left my job and volunteered in Africa. I remember waking up every morning, excited for the day. While there, I met a woman named Nathalie who was a social worker. After one conversation with her, I knew that I was currently in the wrong profession. As soon as I returned from my trip, I applied to graduate school to get my Masters in Social Work. Nathalie is still my mentor to this day.
Where did you go to school and where else have you worked?
I graduated from RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology) with a Bachelors in Advertising and Public Relations. I attended Fordham Graduate School and graduated in 2012 with my MSW. I have volunteered in South Africa, Tanzania and Israel. I have interned with Bronxworks and the Northside Center for Child Development. Before working at GOSO, I was a mobile response crisis social worker at CPC Behavioral Healthcare in NJ.
What are the challenges and rewards of social work?
I think that the biggest challenge I face is seeing a client’s full potential, but they don’t yet see it in themselves. It can be frustrating at times. In regards to rewards; every day, no matter how hard the day, is rewarding.
How long have you been with GOSO and what about its mission is meaningful to you?
I am the newest member of the GOSO team. I knew I wanted the job within the first few minutes of my interview. I had said that I was looking for an organization that truly cares about their clients. GOSO did not feel like another organization, it felt like a supportive family. I love being a part of a team where no matter what you did in your past, we don’t judge and want to help you look forward.
What is one of your fondest memories working with GOSO clients?
This is tough as I already have so many. What sticks out first is when one of our students took his practice GED/TASC exam called the ORT and passed more parts than he thought he would. It was a really great moment.
What advice do you have for someone considering a career in social work?
The key to being a happy social worker, I believe, is having patience and being adamant about self-care. This is a hard job and can be overwhelming at times. However, if you are able to take care of yourself, you will feel rewarded everyday, instead of feeling burnt out.