Inspired by the belief that social work creates positive outcomes

Joanna LlamasThe services encompassed within social care have played a significant role in my life on both a personal and professional level. Through these experiences, I have developed a deeper insight into the role of a social worker and the transformative support they provide. Subsequently, this has fueled my ambition to further pursue my education and ultimately support vulnerable people experiencing need. I believe that my strong motivation towards achieving this, combined with practical experience and a passion to protect, invest, and empower others demonstrates my potential as a dedicated student at New York University Silver School of Social Work Masters Program.

My motivation for becoming a social worker stems from my past experiences growing up. I have always had a great interest in helping and working with others. For as long as I can remember I have both witnessed and experienced families in crisis. Facing my personal problems at the tender age of twelve made me insightful beyond my years. My father had an alcohol problem and when my parents divorced, my mother gained custody of my siblings and me. As the eldest child, I had to grow up fast, helping care for my brother and sisters on a daily basis. My childhood involved a lot of outside interventions that helped me understand just how much of a difference social workers can make. I developed empathy and sensitivity towards others, skills that are essential for social work. My personal problems made me determined to become a social worker and use my experiences to help others facing similar difficulties.

Recent events in the United States have brought to light the rampant injustices that our culture has allowed and even encouraged. Moreover, it forced the nation to reflect on the social issues that have deprived communities of color, especially underserved communities of their rights. For decades, government laws and policies, such as redlining, have segregated, demoralized and denied entire communities and populations of their rights. Many of these communities now live under poor conditions in which the quality of the education and economic opportunities afforded to them are significantly reduced when compared to affluent communities. People of color, especially underserved populations deserve to have the same privileges. One excellent way to help alleviate these problems is to adopt the concept of Cultural Humility in an institutional level. Cultural humility stresses the importance of accepting that we can never fully understand another person’s culture but can and should commit ourselves to looking within and without to help rectify inequalities and injustices. It is a societal mindset that helps rid us of power imbalances by forming a bond of mutual respect and collaboration.

Social work is a vital service that delves into the issues and inequalities within society, which can stigmatize and perpetuate suffering. It is a career, which often takes different perspectives into account to protect people and seek out solutions. I perceive it to be a complex and challenging role, but rewarding all the same. I remain optimistic and undeterred in my belief that social work creates positive outcomes for people. This fundamental reason is why I wish to become part of this profession and am confident that studying this graduate program will help me achieve my dreams.

We are proud to announce Joanna Llamas is one of the current LatPro Scholarship finalists. Vote for her essay (Facebook ‘Like’ and other social media sharing options in left column), click the ‘star’ just above comments section below, and/or leave comments of support to help us with the selection process.

11 comments…

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    Matt Stankey June 14, 2015, 6:23 am

    Joanna is one of the hardest working people I know. She is very dedicated to helping others and goes out of her way to make sure everyone she meets has the tools they need to succeed. It’s an honor to know someone like Joanna and I don’t know anyone more deserving of this scholarship.

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      Christine Wells Cory June 19, 2015, 11:57 am

      Good luck on your journey. You are a true example of what young adults can strive for an achieve.. Way to go and I wish you the best

      Reply
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    Maria Villafuerte June 14, 2015, 3:25 pm

    Ever since the day I met Joanna I was touched by her passion and dedication to helping others. I have never met anyone so joyful and positive despite the difficulties she has faced in her lifetime. It is a great pleasure to have met such an extraordinary woman and I am excited to see what changes she can bring to the community. You deserve this Joanna!

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    Tony Villafuerte June 14, 2015, 4:44 pm

    Joanna is a beautiful and wonderful human being. I specially love the way she interacts with other people. She definitely deserves this scholarship. Good luck, I wish you the best!

    Reply
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    Allison Stankey-Boren June 14, 2015, 5:43 pm

    I have not met Joanna in person but have spoken with her a few times. She’s poised, driven, and well spoken. Her tenacity and refusal to be a victim impresses me. I believe she’s very deserving of this scholarship.

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    Anna Napoles June 16, 2015, 3:54 am

    What an insightful and inspiring essay. Joanna, I wish you the best and am certain you will become everything you aspire to be and will make an indelible impact on the world.

    Reply
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    miledi salvatiera June 16, 2015, 12:31 pm

    I totally support this fine young lady. What an amazing lady she is. She is deserving of the scholarship as she wants to be able to receive to further educate herself so that she can return to the community and pay it forward. Let’s support education. Vote for Joanna Llamas

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    Vernie Sue Yong Tim June 18, 2015, 12:41 am

    Your compassion, intelligence, personal experiences and maturity are proof that you are deserving of this scholarship. Best of luck on your journey.

    Reply
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    Nadine Luu June 19, 2015, 3:42 pm

    Anyone can spend the time to pick any major in pursuing for higher education, what was not being taught prior was the passion and determination within. Joanna had that vision of helping others and to make a difference within herself since when she’s young. It is not just a major or a profession that she’s interested in but she have planted a seed deeply in her heart, waiting for the right time to bloom to show the world of her positivity, optimistic vision of what she can offer. Overall, from her own life experiences is one solid proof of what she’s capable of and what she can achieve for our society.

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    Ralph LardiSalsa June 19, 2015, 7:04 pm

    Joanna has a lifetime of experience for her young age. From personal experience to her travels around the world, she is a perfect candidate for this scholarship. She has the attitude, the goals and the perseverance to succeed. Please choose Joanna, she is very deserving of this scholarship.

    Reply
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    Erika Meza Vasquez June 22, 2015, 7:02 am

    Joanna is a talented young lady who has proven herself as a dedicated student. It was refreshing to read her essay and know she is concerned in making a change with things that actually have a purpose in life. No matter what this young lady will succeed in whatever she chooses to do. Best of luck.

    Reply

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