Shailin Tisdale, class of 2025 is one of two College of Social Work’s 2024 Child Welfare BSW Scholars Tuition Assistance Program winners. She took time out from classwork to talk to us about the scholarship and her future.
- What led you to your interest in helping children and families?
Growing up in a family of three generations of teachers and two generations of ministers exposed me to the impact that guidance and mentorship can have on lives. Helping others is in my blood. I witnessed firsthand how small acts of caring and wisdom ripple out in powerful ways. As I moved into adulthood, I felt called to nurture that same potential in today's youth. My calling comes from a desire to uplift the next generation, one child at a time. I want to nourish hope, cultivate character, and unlock potential. Just as my family did for me, I strive to give kids a solid foundation so they can grow into caring, capable adults who contribute to society.
- Is there a person or event that inspired you to pursue a career in social work?
My exploratory advisor caused me to pursue a career in social work. I initially wanted to be a physician's assistant but expressed to him my urge to want to be on a more personable level with the people I want to serve. After a semester he suggested I take a social work class and see how I liked it. From that point on, I was in love with the field.
- What do you hope to achieve as a social worker?
As a social worker, I hope to achieve lasting positive change in my community by empowering individuals, strengthening families, and advancing equality and social justice. On an interpersonal level, I aim to foster hope, resilience, and self-determination in my clients by meeting them where they are and helping them access resources and solutions tailored to their unique needs and goals. I strive to always interact with compassion, cultural humility and an understanding of intersectionality. I aim to carry forth the dignity of this profession and achieve small wins that ripple into waves of progress. If I can positively impact even one life, then my dedication as a social worker will have been worthwhile.
- Your SC DSS scholarship award – what does this mean to you?
Earning this award demonstrates my vision to uplift marginalized communities through dedicated service. Though I have not yet begun actively working, receiving this honor one day will act as a model that my goal is to serve, empower, and advocate for the people I plan to serve. This award symbolizes my current goals. It gives me a purpose to aim high in my social work practice; to be recognized in this way for my devotion and compassion for underrepresented populations. Driven by a desire to contribute to this profession, I will strive relentlessly to serve others. This award will encourage me to take great care and ingenuity in all I do, while never losing sight of why I chose this path in the first place-- to be an agent of hope and justice.
- Future plans?
While working for DSS, I plan to obtain a Master’s in Trauma Informed Education and Social Work. I also plan to obtain my LCSW and LISW-CP. My ultimate goal is to become a hospital social worker or clinical social worker.