by Ashley Osborne
I am a senior at Arizona State University preparing to graduate this May with my BSW. Graduating with my BSW and beginning the process of pursuing my MSW means many different things for me.
On Mother’s Day 2008, at the age of sixteen, I found out I was pregnant. My life got off track for a couple of years, and the world was telling me that my life was over. The world was telling me that I could never make something of my life. I was told that I made a huge mistake. I was told that things would never be the same.
That part was right - things would definitely never be the same. I looked into my son’s eyes, and I didn’t see a mistake. I saw a beautiful baby boy. I saw a reason to work harder than I have ever worked in my life. I decided that a career in social work is exactly what I wanted, what I needed. I wanted to better my life for my son, and I also wanted to better the world that he was going to grow up in.
For me, social work is a career where I can be myself and use what I have been through to help other people. I can make the changes that I am passionate about, specifically regarding education. I strongly believe that education is a human right. I believe that every person should have access to an education. I believe that every person should receive a good quality education. I believe that the quality of education a person receives should not be determined by the income of the family. I believe that the quality of education should be as good in low income neighborhoods as it is in higher income neighborhoods.
As a social worker, I can work in many different fields, with many different populations, performing many different job functions. I can work with individuals, or I can work on a larger scale with communities as a whole. I can work with politicians to create programs and laws to better society. I can run a nonprofit organization. I can work as a clinical social worker. I can work in a hospital setting. I can work in a school setting. I can work in the justice system. The possibilities are endless.
Social work is a career that you can make unique for yourself. You can strive to make changes that you are passionate about. You can work with a specific population, such as homeless individuals, veterans, children, and individuals with mental health diagnoses. So find that population that you are passionate about and get out there and make the changes you want to see happen!
As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Take the first step and become a social worker. Let’s make the world a better place together.
Ashley Osborne is a senior social work student at Arizona State University preparing to graduate this May.