Why did you choose to pursue an MSW degree?
An MSW degree gives me the training and the resources I need to be the best community helper I can. An MSW degree allows me to explore myself, my talents, and interests by offering amazing internship experiences and diverse classes.
What are your thoughts on BYU's focus on a spiritually strengthening educational experience?
BYU's focus on spirituality was another aspect that attracted me to this school. Social work focuses on healing the person. Healing cannot occur without some sort of belief that you can surrender yourself to. BYU social work professors have brought in spirituality appropriately into the classes so that as students we can strengthen our spiritual beliefs and understand them better.
Why did you choose BYU's Social Work program?
I received my bachelor's in social work from BYU and therefore knew the professors, curriculum and expectations of the school. BYU's social work program offered what I wanted in an MSW program. It's diverse enough to allow me to explore different options, but it also allows me to take classes that will lead me in the right direction for the career I want to pursue.
What are your career goals?
I am very interested in working with children specifically in a play therapy setting. I would like to become an LCSW and also a registered play therapist. I believe that play therapy is the best way for children to overcome trauma in their lives. I also am very interested in school social work. I know that education is one of the best ways to help a child succeed. A social worker in the schools ensures that a child's school and home environment are appropriate for them to be confident in what they want to pursue.
Tell us about your BYU internship experience(s):
As a BSW student I interned at an elementary school in the area. I worked with kindergarten through fourth graders who struggled with behavioral issues and social skills because of different trauma and crises in their lives. I ran psycho-educational groups that focused on self-esteem, social skills, family issues, divorce, and anger management. I was able to use my creative skills in teaching the children how they can empower themselves and rise above the different struggles in their life. I also did individual time with students who needed one on one attention.
As an MSW student I have interned at the Utah County Children's Justice Center. Children who have disclosed about abuse come here and talk about what has happened to them. The Children's Justice Center is a safe place which is very child-oriented. Law enforcement and DCFS caseworkers interview the children in this type of atmosphere as to get the best disclosure for further legal and civil action and reduce the risk of re-traumatizing the victim child. While the child was being interviewed, I worked with the non-offending parent/guardian who had brought the child. I provided crisis counseling and told them about different resources in the area that could help them get through this time. I also participated twice a week in groups for children and teenagers that gave them skills to overcome their sexual abuse. I co-facilitated a parent's group for adults who were molested as children and who now have a child who has been abused. I helped them process feelings surrounding their abuse and their child's abuse.