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Graduate School Essay Social Work

What Does Social Work Mean to You and What Specific Branch of Social Work are You Particularly Interested in?

Since my childhood, I have been interested in the framework of a given society: how it operates. Through history and sociology classes in high school, I gained a deeper interest in this aspect of sociology. When I entered The Evergreen State College, I also took psychology courses, learned more about the interaction of people in social groups around the world, as well as the inner conflicts that everyone of us encounters, and ways of dealing with them. Later, at Seattle University, I decided to expand my interests beyond psychology and took a class called Social Work: An Introduction to the Ethics and History of Development. I later came to think of this decision as a revolutionary step that turned my attention to what I now am determined to make a calling, and a profession, for a lifetime.

Social work is diverse, since there are many groups of clients with their individual needs, issues, and hardships. Sure, there are basics and principles that any social worker puts into the foundation of their work. However, through what I have already learned about social work, I also realize that as a practical discipline, social work is about the particular and specific experience of working with a certain group of clients. For me, the branch of social work to which I would like to dedicate myself fully is working with the elderly. It may seem surprising, since some may think that the problems that elderly people are facing are rather typical and not so serious compared to what people living with AIDS, or children born with terminal diseases, or people facing cancer are going through. However, I strongly disagree. Issues of the elderly may be typical, and somewhat universal, but it does not in any way lessen their importance, or give objective reasoning to discount their problems.

Being an elderly person in the USA might not be as challenging as it is in Africa, or Kazakhstan, for example. Yes, we do have decent quality medical services and social security programs. Nevertheless, people tend to underrate, or close their eyes to many issues that individuals face when getting older. Elderly persons have to give up their job, which completely changes the lifestyle they have been used to for much of their lives. Feeling neglected, useless, and inactive in community life causes many elderly people to face depression after retirement—not forgetting the numerous health problems and psychological changes that everyone faces when getting old.

It is great if one has a supportive, caring family, friends, and an engrossing hobby with which to occupy oneself to help reevaluate one’s life and find a new purpose. And of course, the financial side of the issue is always not to be neglected. Overall, I believe that the elderly deserve just as much attention in terms of social work practice as any other suppressed and discriminated group does. I would love to work with the elderly as a social work specialist to implement and introduce innovative models and methods of social work with the elderly, based on the psychological and the sociological notions I studied at Seattle University, and plan to study more about, during a graduate program. I have lots of ideas which I am determined to develop in relation to social work with the elderly. For example, I want to each elderly client that I work with to gain a sense of leadership, teaching them to become natural leaders. But most importantly, I have a strong desire to help people that deserve our attention, respect, and care, since they contributed so much to American society, and deserve to be appreciated.

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Writing a Personal Statement

A document you write about yourself to inform universities and colleges in which you are applying to for placement is called a personal statement. It is usually a short document of under a thousand words, which contains a subjective testimonial written in ...

Free Sample Personal Statement in Social Work

I am applying to (Name of School) for the Masters of Social Work program. My career goal is to work with underprivileged adolescents, especially those with a history of behavioral and emotional problems. I have significant background in this area; in addition to a full-time position with a recruitment firm, I am a relief counselor for this target group in a residential treatment setting. I want to complement this practical experience with specialized training in order to best serve these individuals.

My desire for this profession springs from the troubles of my childhood. In my youth, I was a ward of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts--in essence, a foster child. Both of my birth parents abused me physically and emotionally, prompting the courts to permanently remove me from their power. I subsequently moved through a succession of foster homes and adolescent shelters. My high school years were therefore highly traumatic; I could not have survived them without the aid of the counselors and social workers that were so kind to me. Yet my problems did not end at the emotional level. I constantly battled financial difficulties in order to graduate high school and embark on a college career. I was essentially paying my way through college on minimum wage--a monumental task. My first two years of college proved quite difficult because of this. But I persevered, and achieved an overall G.P.A. of 3.5 during my final two years at school. I also dedicated much time to campus activities, in which I held a number of leadership positions. Today, I work with an international recruitment firm that allows me to travel through the United States and Europe. This has given me a sense of accomplishment and maturity, yet I feel a deep void in my life.

I need to give back to the community that helped me so much. I know what it is like to be on the "receiving end" of social work--I was the one who stayed with foster families after the social workers had gone home. I am thus in a unique position to understand the conflicts within the hearts of troubled adolescents. I comprehend, for instance, the importance of such issues as trust. And a child in this setting would be naturally more inclined to trust someone who has already experienced "the system" firsthand. My background, my ambition, and my resourcefulness are ample demonstration of the valuable addition I would be to your social work program. I share close bonds of understanding with my target community, and feel that I can make a significant difference in their lives with the aid of a Master's Degree in Social Work from your institution.

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