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MSW, Social Service Administration

July 29, 2017

I hope to earn the Master’s Degree in Social Work through The University of XXXX’s School of Social Service Administration (SSA) because I see it as the optimal springboard upon which I might best launch my career dedicated to helping to prevent child abuse and most of all helping children that have been abused to heal and to thrive in life.  The University of XXXX is my first choice for graduate school to earn my Masters for a host of reasons ranging from the convenience of your location to the sheer excellence of your program. I was raised mostly in XXXX and I have innumerable, invaluable ties with the community, connections that will help me to excel. I also want to attend the SSA at UXXX because your program is one of the top ranked schools in the world.

The central focus of my undergraduate studies spanned Sociology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality and I could not be more passionate about women’s issues, even though I look forward to working with abused children generally thinking, not just girls. I am very interested in Professor XXXX’s research in the area of violence and trauma in women because I hope to someday publish in this area myself.  Earning my MSW Degree at XXXX in SSA is what I see as the clearest path that will take me the furthest over the long term as a social work administrator. I want to learn to see the big picture in addition to the smaller details; and I also profoundly admire the interdisciplinary focus of your faculty, as well as the fact that your department leads the University of Chicago in the number of women and minority teachers.  Fully dedicated to life-long learning in my field, I hope to acquire experience in research as a graduate student and I am convinced that the best place to do that is at the service of the research projects of your faculty at the UXXX SSA.

Jewish, I think of myself as certain type of minority; and I adore diversity, thriving in its celebration. Completing my undergraduate studies in Sociology and Women’s Studies also enabled me to make the most of my study abroad experience in Tel Aviv, Israel, (January-July 2014), serving as an Intern at the Tel Aviv Sexual Assault Crisis Center. Among other duties, I was assigned the task of reviewing, evaluating, and revising sexual assault prevention programs. This year, May-August 2015, I enjoyed the enormous privilege of serving as a Behavioral Health Specialist with The XXXX Foundation in Scottsdale, AZ, helping youth with substance abuse and mental health issues. These experiences, combined with my leadership role in the Jewish community, have convinced me that I have the heart and soul to do this work. I look forward to a long lifetime providing proactive and recovery-focused engagement with youth who suffer from substance abuse and mental issues in Intensive Outpatient Programs, observing client behavior, facilitating, organizing, and helping my clients to develop an array of critically important social skills, coping strategies and monitor related activities. Nothing brings me greater joy than providing a supportive environment for recovery, nurturing a wounded heart.

I wrote two senior theses as an undergraduate. The first was for my Sociology Degree and dealt with the possibility of universities serving as a food oasis in predominantly rural areas. The second was for Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies with the title “Do They Care What It’s Like Down There?: The Bodywork of Nude Artist Models” exploring the perspectives and experiences of nude art models.  I plan to spend the balance of my professional life studying and learning about recovery after abuse. My senior thesis about art modeling came about because after I was raped I found that modeling helped me increase my body confidence. It changed the way that I viewed my body, coming to see more as the form of an empowered and strong woman rather than a rape victim. I researched my thesis because I wanted to see if other people had positive experiences as art models. I thought that it could be a new tool to help victims of abuse to increase self-confidence and move on.

My leadership experience as a XXXX Executive Board Member, the only organization on my campus to promote Jewish life, has also served me well in the development of my professional confidence and my motivation to excel. As VP of Membership Development, I recruited new members, encouraged inactive members to attend events and helped to establish connections amongst members, resulting in a 150% increase in membership involvement.  I was also part of an elite leadership community serviced based organization called Civic Fellows. We had annual events for the elderly and disabled in our community. Throughout all 4 years in college, I volunteered at Deer Meadow Primary School with a program called Special Student Friend. I went once a week for an hour and worked with children from unstable home environments. I have also worked with Relay for Life, spending the summer of 2015 working at The XXXX Foundation, a residential and outpatient program for youth who have substance abuse and mental health issues.

In addition to helping the victims to heal, I am also very passionate about the need to prevent child abuse, consciousness raising, involving the community. Most of my experience has been working with people who have already been abused or hurt but I also want to work to prevent abuse in the first place. I also believe that it is very important to address this issue in ways that are culturally appropriate for minority and immigrant communities, cultivating multicultural understandings of child welfare. I want to learn everything that I can at UXXXX about mental health generally speaking, substance abuse, kids, counseling and especially recovery after abuse. I believe that a lot of the mental health problems that adults have in our society are a result of a lack of intervention when they are children. I hope that by working with children who come from at-risk, abusive, unloving homes where they have been neglected, I can help them to develop healthy emotional boundaries and deal with their mental health issues before problems escalade into adulthood. Ten years from now I want to work at a place like the Chicago Women’s Health Center. In fact, my interests are split between working with youth and abused women because both groups are so vulnerable positions and need help in order to achieve empowerment. I have decided to pursue an MSW rather than a counseling degree because I want to also study and have an impact on policy. When I was raped as an undergraduate student, I went from being emotionally whole, stable, confident and ready to take on the world to crippling, weak, unstable, distraught and doing poorly in my classes. The idea that children are emotionally, mentally, physically and sexually assaulted is especially repugnant to me and fighting this scourge and helping the victims to heal is what is for me the noblest work on earth.  I thank you for considering my application to the SSA at UXXXX.

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