Graduate Admissions Essay for Social Work

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Running head: CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK 1

Clinical Social Work Admission Essays
March 17, 2012

CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK 2

Part I (Autobiographical Essay):  What were the significant factors that influenced your choice of social work? What skills and experiences do you have that will contribute to your success as a graduate student and social work professional? How is the GCSW a good place for you to build on those skills? 2 pages, double spaced, 12 point font

The one real mistake I believe we can make in life is to not learn from missteps

and challenges that come our way. In fact, it is in these missteps and challenges where I

have learned the most and become a better person. I believe that my life experiences

and skills demonstrate why the field of Clinical Social Work is best suited for me as a an

education and career.

I was born and raised in the Houston area with my family. My parents have been

together for 29 years and I have a twin sister and an older brother. Growing up, I felt that

we were a comfortable family with all the things necessary to be happy. I was unaware

that my father was involved with drugs and later that my brother would be as well. This

led to personal and legal difficulties for both of them and our family. I had to learn

quickly to adapt and saw that people just were not “bad” because they had

encountered or had problems in their lives. This allowed me to grow and learn in ways

other children may have never imagined, and I believe that because of my family, it has

contributed a great deal of my personal strength and acceptance of others.

I have also acquired many useful skills and experiences as a young adult and an

undergraduate student. One such experience was working with a local middle school and

high school for a program called PeaceJam. This international education program is built

around Nobel Peace Prize winners who work with young people. The goal of the

program is to inspire a new generation of “peacemakers” who can and hopefully will

CLINICAL SOCIAL WORK3

transform themselves, their local communities, and maybe the world. I found working in

this program to be very inspiring to me as a person and helping me to remember that

change is possible both locally and globally.

In the area of mental health, I was able to work at The University of Texas-Harris

County Psychiatric Center. My time there was spent on the Adolescent Unit. In-patient

facilities provide a window into more serious types of mental illness which affect all

types of diverse people. I was able to watch group and individual therapy, psychosocial

assessments, participate in intakes and interact with all of the patients. I never realized

how much work is done with the patients and their families. I was more inspired to

become involved in the mental health field. This experience was invaluable to me in

getting a perspective of how in-patient mental health works in the world beyond the

textbooks.

I am currently an intern with Neighborhood Centers Inc. On a macro-level, this

position has given me a chance to work with youth, families including both immigrant

and refugee populations. Specifically, I have been providing citizen application

assistance, connecting clients with legal resources, and assisting the ESL instructor on

preparing individuals for their citizenship examinations. I have learned so much about

the issues facing people from all types of circumstances and to develop cultural

competency. There is so much that can be done for these families. I feel I am just

tapping into my potential in this field.

I am a leader and strongly believe in working hard to obtain your goals. I also

believe...
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