Student Voices: Sharing Social Work / Social Justice Stories
Hello, my name is Emmanuel Avila. I am from El Paso, Texas and I am a first year BSW student at the Department of Social Work, The University of Texas at El Paso who hopes to graduate in the year 2020. Here are a few things I love doing; I love spending time with my family and friends and being a part of the social work program cohort. In my spare time I enjoy volunteering, reading, playing poker, and watching movies.
I am particularly passionate about people and programs that deal with disability that was why I chose to pursue a career in social work. At the age of 16 I became disabled, and that had a devastating effect on my social and scholarly pursuits. At the same time, my sister was finishing her BSW in Social Work. After I recovered health wise, I chose to work while I decided on my career path. I ultimately chose social work because of my own storied past, and because of the many conversations I had with my sister about social work.
In my spare time I volunteer at CPS, and it is by far the most fulfilling thing I do with my time, there are far too many marginalized people in our society and one of the, if not the most vulnerable population among them are children. Therefore, after graduation I would either love to work for the adult protective services or the child protective services, but I am yet undecided.
I like this Talmud/Judaic quote which states, “whoever saves a life, saves the entire world,” because it speaks volumes.
By Emmanuel Avila, BSW Student
protesting the separation of
My name is Cynthia L. Jimenez, I was born and raised in the great sun city of El Paso, and I am currently in the MSW program in the Department of Social Work at UTEP.
My areas of interest include macro social work, policy, young adults, and working with communities and organizations to fight for social justice. I chose the social work profession because people would usually come to me for advice, even in my elementary school years, and I found that I liked helping people solve the problems they were facing. I also enjoyed volunteer work. I decided I wanted to pursue a career that would allow me to support myself while also gaining this same sense of fulfillment every day.
I currently work as the Neighborhood Relations Coordinator in the El Paso Police Department. Through this role I collaborate with other city departments, organizations, schools, businesses, and neighborhood watches and associations in order to improve the safety and quality of life for El Paso residents. I also supervise and work closely with community service officers in order to establish a trusting partnership between the community and the police department.
After graduation I plan to use what I have learned in the MSW program to enhance my work in the current position I hold with the city. I want to continue to serve the people of El Paso because I appreciate all of the opportunities that this community has given me to succeed. After some years, I would also like to take on a career where I could influence policy from a social work perspective.
I received my Bachelor of Social Work at UT Austin, and there is a quote on the UT tower that continues to inspire me and strengthen my spirit throughout the challenging pursuit of higher education, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”
By Cynthia L. Jimenez