April 21, 2020
Chris Woodley • firstname.lastname@example.org
During this week, the College of Social Work is proud to recognize our four Bachelor of Social Work students who were recognized (virtually) at the University of South Carolina’s annual Awards Day on April 16. The awards celebrate the service, scholarship, leadership and character of the student community. A group of four instructors in the BSW program provided input and discussion before selecting the award recipients.
BSW Community Engagement Award
Hometown: Columbia, South Carolina
The BSW Community Engagement award is designated for a student who demonstrates high levels of effective engagement in the College of Social Work, campus community, and other communities, representing social work’s values and ethics.
“Abi’s dedication to the Undergraduate Social Work Student Association as president this year made her a deserving recipient of this award. The association was very active this year by drawing in new members and conducting service projects, including sponsoring a child in foster care at the holidays and helping women who are homeless with needed hygiene products.” – BSW Program Coordinator Brent Cagle
What does receiving the BSW Community Engagement Award mean to you?
“It’s a very rewarding feeling to be recognized for the community service that my friends, fellow USWSA members, peers and I have participated in over past academic year.”
What were some examples of your community engagement during this academic year?
“I’ve had the privilege of being the president of the USWSA, which encouraged my fellow members and I to participate in local service opportunities. This included volunteering with Food Not Bombs to cook and serve food for individuals experiencing homelessness at Finlay Park. We also attended multiple Service Saturday events that the University of South Carolina hosts, where we spent a day volunteering at a local service site. I also spent time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Boys and Girls Club of the Midlands and the Gamecock Pantry.”
How has the College of Social Work helped you understand the importance of community engagement?
“Being in the BSW program and a member of the College of Social Work has cemented in me the importance of service and community engagement. Our professors have instilled in us the role that service plays in reaching our potential as social workers.”
Why is community engagement important to social workers?
“Participating in community service opportunities is crucial for social workers in developing professional skills and gaining experience by working with diverse clients and populations. As social work students, community engagement is equally as important to our professional development than the academic part. Participating in service opportunities builds skill sets that cannot be built within the classroom.”
What are your future plans?
“Starting in July, I will be volunteering a year of service with an AmeriCorps program called City Year. I will be in a local public school serving as a mentor and tutor for kids who struggle with academics. After completing my year of service, I plan on pursuing my MSW degree.”