A Call For BSW and MSW Students to share Social Work and Social Justice Stories/Experiences
STUDENT VOICES: SHARING SOCIAL WORK / SOCIAL JUSTICE STORIES
Photogragh of Kayla involved in schools.
By Kayla Villegas, BSW Student
Hello, my name is Kayla Villegas a native El Pasoan and a BSW student at The University of Texas at El Paso. I will to graduate in the spring of 2019. I spent most of my time in the hospital and the only ones I ever felt were truly listening to me were the social workers. With them I felt heard. They didn’t just help me, they helped my family. Because of the social workers’ impact in my life, I chose to pursue a career in Social Work to make such impacts in the lives of others by being a voice to those who don’t have a voice and also lending a listening ear so they are heard.
I am currently involved in the community in the following ways;
- I advocate for children in the foster care system as a Court-appointed special advocate (CASA).
- I work on shedding light on the stigma individuals with a visible disability have to deal with on a daily basis.
- I educate women on how to cope with the sexual they stigma face daily.
- I am a philanthropist for low income families in need of assistance with school supplies for their children.
After graduation, I will continue to work on becoming a motivational speaker and help individuals who have dealt with life altering challenges letting them know they’re not alone. I hope to accomplish this by working in a nonprofit organization which advocates for children in foster care or women especially those who need someone to listen to them. I believe that making a change in someone’s life slowly makes the world a little better in its own way.
This quote by Edgar Allan Poe stands out to me, “Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.”
Photogragh of Edgar and Victoria at the Tornillo march that was held in June 2018
By Edgar Arturo, MSW Student
Hi, my name is Edgar Arturo Talavera Ruiz from Chihuahua, Mexico. I am currently in my second year of the Master of the Social Work program at the University of Texas at El Paso and will be graduating in the spring of 2019. I chose a career in social work because I have always liked working and helping people. In Ciudad Jaurez, I studied a degree in Business Administration for 5 years, which I always knew I didn’t like. Later, while I was finishing my degree, I did my social service in a children museum in Juarez as a “Rodi.” When I moved to the United States in 2015, friends who studied or worked at UTEP told me that Social Work would be the perfect master's degree for me. Now I know they were right, because I love it. I have learned to love and help myself to help others.
What impacted my life the most and changed my perspective of how I saw life was being engaged in the community helping families that were separated by this present administration’s zero tolerance policy. I spent time listening to parents whose children had been separated from them and heard so much suffering and pain as they spoke. I think that being a social worker at the border, means that you will work with immigrants one way or another.
After graduation, I want to focus in Integrated Behavioral Health and work within communities that need the support and especially the resources to obtain better health care. I also want to help immigrants that come to this country without knowing where to go, or without knowing that they can have the opportunity to be served by providing those resources that will change their lives. We live in such a materialistic world that we forget to love and help each other.