This is my personal statement that I wrote for when I was applying for a MSW Program.
Helping others has been a goal of mine since High School. I was an active member and volunteer with Key Club. I enjoyed my experience with helping others. The first time I felt compelled to work towards a career in the Human Service field was when I overheard a peer state that she wanted to be a child therapist. Her reasoning planted a seed within me because it empowered me to explore the possibility of becoming a child therapist in the future. I started taking psychology and sociology classes in high school and when I went into college I decided I was going to major in psychology and do therapy. I took an Introduction of Psychology course which gave me the opportunity to have a volunteer position at Project Sister.
Project Sister is a sexual abuse hotline, where I was trained to answer calls and do hospital visits for individuals who have been assaulted. This was my first major exposure to the Social Work field after high school. After this experience I was given many other opportunities, such as, working with adults and children who have disabilities in both home and school settings. I also had been given the opportunity to work in the field of child abuse. I enjoyed all of these experiences however, I cannot say that I fully knew what I wanted to do. I went back and forth with the idea of becoming a social worker or Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT).
Though, I did not know what exactly I wanted to do I did know that I wanted to help people. One eye opening experience that took place that really shaped my future was when I realized I wanted to create my own organization for homeless individuals and families. I wanted it to be a transitional living environment where I could incorporate faith and education. My motto for this organization would be according to the Chinese Proverb “If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day but if you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.” I feel that this idea really shaped my future. The reason why this idea helped shape my future is because it got me thinking more and more about what I wanted to do and it helped me realize that social work fit more of my goals then therapy did. This idea also opened the door to more opportunities that I could have, such as, interning at Colette's Children's Home-Healing Homelessness, which is a transitional living home for single mothers. In addition to this I was given the opportunity to intern with a social worker at a children's home and a chance at interning with Girls Inc. Girls Inc. is an organization that empowers young girls to be strong, smart and bold. It was through this organization that I was given the opportunity to assist in teaching life skills, which I love to do!
In addition to my future goals, I feel compelled to do social work because of Mother Teresa's influence on my life. I want to be just like her; her inspiring role in my life even went as far as potentially motivating me to become a nun. Though, I no longer want to be a nun, seeds to help individuals, like she helped individuals, have been planted inside me. Mother Teresa is an amazing women who dedicated her life towards helping those less fortunate. She helped the poor in Calcutta, India; she helped families, orphaned children and even those who suffered from leprosy. She had a heart of gold, always putting others before herself; these unselfish qualities that she possessed, I want to strive for. Mother Teresa had many reasons for helping the poor, however, there is one particular reason why she helped others, and this particular reason inspires and compels me to become a social worker. According to Matthew 25:31-46, in the Bible, we, as God's people, must help one another. We must help one another by feeding, giving them drink, clothing them, comforting them and even visiting them while they are in jail. The reason why we are called to do this is because in every person that we do this to we are really doing it to God. If however, we don't, then we fail to see God in each and every person. God calls each and everyone to serve one another. This is one of the reasons why I want to go through the Masters of Social Work Program.
In addition to serving one another because God calls us to, I also came to the conclusion when I went through my conformation back in 2005 that I want to help those who are considered lost causes. While in this class I was asked to come up with a saint that I could model my life after. Mother Teresa, unfortunately, was not one I could choose from, however, I did choose Saint Jude. Saint Jude is considered the patron saint of lost causes. The reason why Saint Jude is considered the patron saint of lost causes is because he healed the king of Odessa from leprosy by the power of the Holy Spirit. I want to help people, that most people have lost hope for. I want to do this with God's help. I feel that If I am able to incorporate my faith in the healing and educational process then it would be far more rewarding then if I did not incorporate my faith. This is why I choose a private university over a public university and why my goals for the future are to work in private sectors of the Social Work field.
My future goals are to work with families who are homeless. I want to provide resources and education so that the families I am helping feel empowered to change their lives. I want to help families get off welfare so that they do not become a slave to the government. In addition, I want to help these families, by empowering them to change their lives, and not feel trapped in their circumstances. I also want to help teen mothers. I want to educate teens about sex and encourage them to be abstinent till marriage. I want to eliminate the amount of abortions we have going on here in America. In a proposal/grant writing course I took for my Baccalaureate degree I created a proposal that I would like to implement. The proposal that I created was for a camp. The name of this camp is Camp Girl Power. My mission for creating this camp is to educate girls, 12-13 years old, about sex and empower them to choose abstinence till marriage. The way that I plan to do this is through workshops. By encouraging and educating these girls to choose abstinence till marriage then I would be taking steps towards eliminating teen pregnancies, increasing their self esteem and eliminating the rate of high school drop outs. Throughout both of these organizations I would also like to educate the individuals about drugs and alcohol.
I am very passionate about educating individuals when it comes to these issues and feel that no one should ever settle. I feel that everyone should become the best that they can be and be who God created them to be. I believe that God created everyone to be amazing and created everyone with specific talents and it is our duty to use our talents. I believe that many people lose track of their abilities and talents. Therefore, I want to be the person who helps them get back on track and figure out who they are so that they can live strong independent lives, instead of depending on others around them to take care of them.
A social problem of interest to me is how we, in America, educate our youth about sex. Though, I believe strongly in educating our youth about sex and the dangers and consequences that can come with living a permiscuous life; I do not believe in teaching safe sex or what I would refer to as the “Harm Reduction” method. Harm Reduction is a technique that we use in our education system today. Harm reduction is a term that describes how we deal with high risk behaviors. Those who believe in the harm reduction method believe that we should protect our youth by teaching them to use protection, such as contraceptions, if they should choose to have sex. The reason why they believe we should promote protection is because they believe that we cannot force youth to choose abstinence however, there goal is to keep them safe and to prevent unwanted pregnancies or teen pregnancies, in general. They also want to protect teens from contracting a sexual transmitted disease (STD).
My view on this issue however, is that by teaching safe sex methods, when we as a society really want our children not to have sex, is sending out a double message. I feel that we are enabelers because we don't like the idea of our youth having sex however, we don't take a stand against the unwanted behavior. In my opinion, it is as if we are saying to our children, “don't have sex but if you are going to have sex be safe, use protection.” I feel that if we do not want our children to engage in a premiscuous lifestyle then we need to be able to educate them on not having sex. I feel that we as a society have to feel confident that if we are doing this we are not imposing our values however, we as adults, who should have their best interest at hand, would be protecting them and not imposing our values.
Though, I do understand that this is a difficult subjet and that those who advocate the harm reduction method feel that they do have the youths best interest at hand I however feel that they do not. I feel that those who believe in protecting youth, who want to behave in their own fashion, are responsible for teen pregnancy and teens contracting STD's. Teenagers should not be able to do whatever they want and be rewarded. I feel that by giving youth contraceptives we are encouraging them to engage in a dangerous permiscuous lifestyle. It is, in my opinion, because of this dangerous and permiscuous lifestyle that we have so many teen pregnacies here in the United States.
Research on teen pregnancy, that was put out by the Rural Assistance Center (RAC), indicates that the rates of teen pregnancy here in the United States is larger then many in the world. Research says that we have 28% of our teenage girls, here in America, getting pregnant at least once before they are 20 years old, which results in there being 750,000 teen pregnancies a year. The given statistical number for teen pregancies a year does not even take into account how many children are being affected with a sexual transmitted disease (STD), which by the way, harm reduction methods cannot prevent. In addition, this number does not take into account the amount of abortions that are being done and the psychological or even physical damage that is being done because of abortion. This number does not take into account how much our tax dollars are going to fund abortions. This number does not even take into account how many families are being effected by teen pregnancy or how the baby is effected, coming from a single parent family. There are numerous factors when it comes to teens having babies and I feel that teaching safety when it comes to sex may sound like a good idea on paper however, I feel that what we need to teach is abstinance because abstinance is the only safe alternative. Abstinance is the only 100% alternative to our children being safe. I honestly believe that if abstinance education was implimented as the number one focus in schools or even through my desired camp, we as a society, would benefit from its positive outcome.
This social problem has been an ethical challenge for me in many ways when it comes to the work I have done for the past 7 years. This social problem has contributed to my decision of discontinuting my service at Project Sister. Though, I enjoyed working at Project Sister I found it very difficult to go to the hospital visits and hear talks about abortions and morning after pills due to sexual assault. Though, my heart went out to the victims of abuse and I knew easy decisions were not being made; I was morally against abortion and the morning after pill as forms of contraception. I could not impose my values though, and I knew that I could not be in a position where I did not agree in the procedures being done. I was supposed to be an advocate for the young women and found it very difficult when I was agaisnt her or her families choice of actions. I did not want to condone their behaviors or enable the decisions being made so I decided that the best alternative was to stop volunteering as a counselor at Project Sister.
This ethical challenge was not easy and I feel that it has followed me throughout the years. It is because of this ethical challenge that I undergone personal battles with myself. I have felt, at times, that I could not be a good human service worker because I could not remain objective. It was not until I came upon pregnancy center that actually did not enable the harm reduction method instead they stood their ground and stood up for what they believed in. These pregnancy Centers are Mary Shelter and Los Angelas Pregnancy Services (LAPS). It is because of these two pregnancy centers that I have come to the decision of working in private religious sectors. It is through many private religious sectors, such as the ones mentioned that I will be given the freedom to educate individuals on abstinence education and baby development. Though, I do not want to impose my values I want to educate individuals on what I believe is true. It is through these organizations and my future goals that I will be able to make a difference in the world.