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NEWS ARTICLES

OHIO UNIVERSITY - CHILLICOTHE

 

2018 New Social Work Celebration
April 30, 2018 : Graduating seniors use obstacles as motivation for the future

 

Graduating seniors in the Bachelor’s of Social Work program at Ohio University Chillicothe celebrated their accomplishments on April 26, 2018 at Buffalo Wild Wings in Chillicothe. As students celebrated their accomplishments, many couldn’t help but think about the road ahead.

 

For most social work students, they already know what lies ahead of them though. While some students have long aspired to pursue their field of study, other students have chosen their paths due to their upbringings and/or obstacles they have faced over the years.

 

This is in fact one of the many reasons why social work students chose this field of work and for some, why it’s not always been that easy. These were some of the common themes expressed by students as they were celebrating and reflecting on their time at campus.

 

Dresdan Stephens, graduating senior and 2013 graduate of Logan Elm High School, said she decided to pursue social work because she understands the need for better Children’s Services. She shared, “I had a bad experience with a therapist when I was younger. Unfortunately, I feel like sometimes children get lost in the mix, and then there are other times when I think therapists forget the real meaning of why they’re there. That’s why I want to work with children – because I know I will have their best interest in mind.”  

 

Similarly, Courtney Caudill, graduating senior and 2012 graduate of Logan Elm High School, stated, “My sister has major depression and suicidal tendencies, so I hope that I can make a difference in the lives of children like her – even if it means helping just one child.”

Caudill transferred to the Chillicothe campus after attending Wilmington College for a brief time. She also has a job lined up with a non-profit foster care agency, which is supposed to begin on May 14.

 

Due to the atrocity in our communities, there is a prevalent need for social workers; therefore, it’s essential that we continue to train individuals to fill the need in our society. Although Children’s Services is one of the most common areas for social work placement, there are several other areas of interest in the field of social work.

 

Mary Brown, Lecturer of Social Work, remarked, “Sometimes I feel when others think of social workers they only think of Children's Services and relate the profession to, "taking kids away." It's much more than that! We are able to work with individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds, assist them in finding needed community resources, help our clients/patients learn new coping strategies, different ways to deal with addiction, and help them meet their goals for life changes. We are a caring profession that advocates for those who are marginalized and oppressed in order for the most positive outcomes to occur for the client, community and in some cases our country.”

 

Unlike Stephens and Caudill, Krista Jones, graduating senior and 2011 graduate of Huntington High School, commented, “Although I would like to work in Children’s Services, I also have a passion for mental health. As a foster child growing up, I had a difficult childhood. I started going down the wrong path so I decided to make a change and turned my life around. I’m hoping that I can make a difference for others and help them overcome the same obstacles.”

 

Jones plans to begin her Master’s of Social Work with Ohio University this summer as she has been accepted into the University’s Advanced Standing Program. She shared, “As far as employment goes, I’m not sure if I’m going to get an internship or start working. I’ll just see where the drain takes me.”

 

As graduation approaches, most students feel a mix of emotions – some scared, some excited. This is typical as some don’t quite know where their paths lead. Some will go straight into the workforce, while others will transition into Graduate School. Regardless, the change of pace and different routine is enough to make us feel uneasy at times.

 

Jones remarked, “It’s a really great accomplishment! Growing up really poor and around drugs, I’m sure there a lot of people who wouldn’t have even thought I’d make it here – let alone graduate. I hope to help others overcome and achieve more than I have in life. Everyone has a story, but not one story is worse than another. We can all grow.”  

 

“When I sit and think about graduation, I think about high school,” shared Stephens. “In high school, we were almost guaranteed to graduate. But to graduate college, it’s all up to us. College is something we choose to do and if we didn’t push ourselves to get to this moment, we wouldn’t be getting ready to graduate.”

 

Brown stated, “The seniors this year have worked hard over the last four or five years and they are dedicated to their clients and the profession. They have vision for change and hope for a future for their clients. I wish them all the best and pray that they are able to accomplish what they are called to do.”

 

The Graduation Recognition Ceremony will take place May 4, 2018 beginning at 7 p.m. in the Shoemaker Center at the Chillicothe campus. The community is invited to attend the evening’s celebration in honor of our graduating class of 2018. A reception will be held immediately following the conclusion of the ceremony in the Shoemaker Center.   

 

Congratulations, graduates! Best of luck with your future endeavors!