1) Motivation and Commitment for the Social Work Profession
As I reminisce back upon my life there are many experiences and factors that have affected and shaped who I am today. If you examine Nature vs. Nurture, Ive always concluded that human expression is not just black and white, there is a definite grey area where both nature (genetics) and nurture (environment) combine. For example, childhood experiences or family dynamics can either make or break you as a person depending on whether you allow negative experiences or less than ideal environments to detrimentally affect the way in which you view the world. You can prevail forward or stay with the natural human tendency to digress in the past but you decide how long you want that period of digression to be.
My immediate family growing up was my father, stepmother, mother, and my twin brothers. My parents divorced when I was two. My mother was severely depressed; because of this I did not see her again until I was eight years old. I dont remember a lot from when I was young but I do recall my brothers and I visiting our mother under supervision in a playroom of a human services building. She explained to us that she was better and could soon keep us every other weekend. My mother was better for a while but the depression came in cycles, sometimes she was up and other times she was down.
My twin brothers were born mentally challenged on the mild spectrum. As I watched my mother and brothers struggle with trials and tribulations of life, I realized how much I enjoy helping others cope with the obstacles and barriers that can come with life, with or without a disability that brings life into another realm. Which is how I came to work with several different companies serving various populations such as, mentally challenged, mentally ill, physically disabled and Traumatic Brain Injury.
My interest in social work and psychology began as a teenager in my first psychology class my freshman year in high school. I was fascinated with how the brain works and what influences and shapes the human mind. I told my parents at this time my dream of becoming a therapist. As a teenager I always wanted to give support and give advice to my friends. I wanted to help others through their challenges. We all face challenges in life, we all have to face fear at one time or another, every challenge and fear is a chance to gain courage or strength you never knew you had inside you.
I began pursuing my bachelors degree at the age of twenty one. I attended school, work, and at the same time held up the role of single motherhood. It was testing and exhausting at times but the feeling of accomplishment at the end was well worth it. After receiving my degree I knew eventually I would want to climb further up the education ladder when I was ready. I wanted a break to gain more work experience serving others. This year I decided was the right time to look into a masters degree program. I was fond of the multidimensional contexts mentioned in the Advanced Generalist Concentration description for the second year. It is important to learn the different levels and aspects of cultures and the influences thereof, in order to better understand and empathize with the individuals you serve as a social worker.
My future career goals after I complete the program: I hope to work in a clinic or resource center for individuals with HIV and work towards further prevention and education to the public. I am going to obtain a minor in Drug and Alcohol Counseling so I can better serve this population. After gaining some work experience to broaden my perspective and knowledge, I hope to open my own therapy practice in order to help others through their challenges and succeed in life.
2) A Social Issue of Concern
A social issue of concern for me is the stigmatizing of individuals with HIV in society. As the HIV/AIDS epidemic marks its thirtieth year, you can state a lot has changed since...
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