Supportive Services for Veteran Families Healthcare Navigator
Alston Wilkes Society
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Why are social workers essential to society?
"Social workers are needed to help strengthen our community. They act as the voice of the voiceless and fight for human rights and social justice. Today, we can easily find social workers advocating for clients in all professions as they enhance human well being, meeting the basic needs of people, and promoting human relationships."
What motivated or inspired you to pursue a career in social work?
"I grew up in a small Central African country called Cameroon. It is the bedrock of African hardships, such as extreme poverty, high mortality rates due to poor living conditions, and lack of government aid. My parents worked hard trying their best not to let this affect our goals, endlessly stressing the importance of education.
I witnessed vulnerable children and families in need of assistance, growing up with children who were physically and emotionally abused and had disabilities and mental illnesses. These children and families did not receive any form of government assistance at that time. Coming from a middle-class home, I was able to help these children with some of my leftover food and old clothing.
I decided to pursue a career in sociology out of empathy for people in my community. My goal at that time was to become a sociologist to make these problems known to our government and seek assistance for these underprivileged people. When I moved to the U.S., I enrolled in a two-year college transfer program where I completed general education classes and later transferred to Coastal Carolina University to pursue my bachelor's degree in sociology. Based on experiences growing up and what I learned from my bachelor's studies, I decided to specialize in social work because it matched my values, goals and abilities."