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Sam Denton

Sam Denton

Stillman Valley, Illinois

Why did you choose to pursue an MSW degree?
I knew I wanted to work with people who wanted to better their lives. I looked into MFT, MSW, LPC, and a couple of other possibilities, and am glad the I decided to follow the MSW route. Social Work emphasizes that to help make lives better we must intervene not only with the individual at the micro level, but also at the meso and macro levels, working with groups, organizations, and even communities and governments. Along those lines, Social Work perspectives tend to concentrate on the value of the person-in-environment approach to helping effect desired changes in lives. I have learned a lot, and continue to learn more in every session, every class, and from every client, or community interaction.

What are your thoughts on BYU's focus on a spiritually strengthening educational experience?
There is no doubt that if a student takes advantage of the various spiritually building activities on campus they will draw nearer to God through them. Tuesday devotionals, firesides, education week, religion classes, and many other avenues are provided to help students learn more than just academia.

What are your thoughts on the family experience at BYU?
As a husband, and father of 4 young children, we have thoroughly loved being at BYU with our family. We have taken our children to "movies in the park", made use of the children's section of the library, hiked Y mountain, enjoyed walks on BYU's beautiful campus. Our children attended the BYU preschool last summer and loved it! We also plan on taking advantage of some of the services provided by BYU such as dance, theater and other similar classes and camps.

Why did you choose BYU's Social Work program?
I felt BYU's social work program would provide me several opportunities that the other MSW programs I applied to would not. In my opinion, I have yet to encounter an atmosphere that rivals BYU, including it's MSW program, in its feeling of community, sharing, support, learning, collaboration, or its efforts to provide the ultimate learning experience for each and every student.

What are your career goals?
My goals and aspirations seem to change daily, just ask my wife. I would like to eventually use my knowledge in a classroom setting, teaching at either a high school or community college level, while staying engaged in therapy in a private practice setting. I have found great value of therapeutic groups, and especially using experiential therapy in groups, and thus would like to also use that avenue as a means to help clients in conjunction with individual and family therapy.

Tell us about your BYU Internship experience(s):
My summer internship was at ScenicView Academy, a school for adults with Learning Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders. My experience was more valuable than I ever expected! I learned many valuable lessons from helpful therapeutic techniques to ways to improve community relationships and communications. I saw first hand the value of a system designed to teach and support individuals from a holistic perspective, addressing educational, vocational, spiritual, emotional, and relational needs along with others. My fall/Winter internship will be working with a private practice that works primarily with sexual offenders. As you can see, I look forward to the diversity of learning circumstances that each of these internships offer me.