Working as a social worker for the past 16 years has convinced me that I want to continue in this field. I hope to attain a BA and then an MSW in Social Work. As a profoundly abused child, by the time I became an adolescent, I dreamed of becoming a social worker who could help other children, saving them from horrific situations, helping them to recover, and providing the assistance that came too little and too late for myself, coming full circle, arriving home. At first, I had felt that such a career was beyond my grasp because of my lack of self-esteem that accompanied the psychological and exceedingly physical abuse to which I was subjected. As I matured, however, I realized that my unique background afforded me life experience that others did not have. I chose to become a foster parent in 1990. My heart was filled with so much love caring for this abused and neglected child and providing her with love. My experience as a foster parent has motivated me to work with other abused and neglected children.
I passionately believe that the combination of love, understanding, and being inspired to self-motivation is the central key to overcoming obstacles and living a healthy and happy life rather than continuing to suffer as an adult because of the traumas of childhood. I’ve always struggled mightily to help my children to be flexible and adaptable, and develop their skills, motivation, and willpower to seek their goals, keep dreaming, and find the strength within themselves to accept success in their life, inner dignity, and strength to love themselves and open themselves up to authentic love for those around them.
For many years now, as a professional and mother, I have used my cultivation of high degrees of motivation and energy to make a difference in the lives of foster children. And I have been profoundly rewarded as far as I have had the enormous privilege of making profound changes in these children’s lives for the better. By 1998, I had adopted four foster children, providing them all with a safe and stable place to call home, with profound, unconditional love, seeing to their education, helping them to build self-esteem and to love themselves, their new brothers and sisters, and people in general, to respect older people and to appreciate and make the most of their educational opportunities. My first adopted daughter, now in her second year of college, would often tell me that with all my life experiences, my next ambition would be to become a professional social worker. She has been one of my inspirations and motivations for returning to school to pursue my bachelor's degree in social work and then the MSW. I am now finishing my associate degree in Sociology. She has always told me that my heart has so much room and what a tremendous foster/adoptive mother I have been for her; thus, she has inspired me to put my dream into action. I ask to be accepted to your program so that I can give my all to working hard to help needy children to acquire a foundation for making their own dreams a reality, making a positive difference in all the lives that I touch. The most significant contribution I could make to society would be to become a professional social worker with neglected and abused children and their families
Although I feel proud of my success as a foster parent and with the adoption process, I have realized that I am not living up to my potential. At this point, having a degree in social work would allow me to work towards a license and expand my understanding of what I already know. After working with neglected children and social services for sixteen years without a social work degree, going back to school to study social work will complement my life experiences. It will build upon what I have learned studying sociology.
My mother was seventeen, and my father was fifty. He said my mother began drinking shortly after my sister was born, so it was not a happy time when they found out she was pregnant with me. She was already four months along when my father insisted, she use a hanger to abort the fetus. They tried but with no success. In September 1955, I was born against their will. According to my father, neither he nor my mother wanted me, so when she gave birth, she abandoned me at the hospital, and I was taken into foster care until I was four years old. During this time, my father, who is Chinese, moved to San Francisco, California, to open a laundry business. Social Service stayed in touch with my father and gave him several options. He was ordered to start paying child support to keep me in foster care, or he could raise me himself. Not wishing to pay for my care, he made the latter decision. One of my first memories is stepping foot in the door and seeing my father with such rage in his eyes. I asked him, “who are you?”
I endured intense verbal and physical abuse from my father for the next six years. Daily, my father would tell me that I was unwanted from conception. He would repeatedly say that I would not amount to anything. He would beat me daily with different techniques of torture. I had to stand next to his ironing table for hours, and every so often, he would hit me with a stick on each side of my head until it was swollen, broke open, and bled, and he would then dab iodine on it and watch me squirm as it burned. He would put my hands in boiling water while he and my sister would laugh at the blisters it created. One of his more painful torture methods was pulling my fingernails out with pliers individually, then dousing them with alcohol. After six years, not one part of my body escaped his physical abuse.
After many years of this, my elementary school finally intervened and contacted Social Services, and they determined that my father had been abusing me. I was removed from my father’s care. After six months, however, I returned to my father's home. Some social workers considered me Caucasian and others Chinese, making placing me in an appropriate home difficult. Then the abuse escalated since my father thought I had lied to him and got him in trouble. Social Services came for a visit only to see that I had bruises all over my body. They removed me again and placed me in Juvenile Hall for several months, and then, finally, I was placed into foster care.
At thirteen, I ran away and lived on the streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown for several months. The police picked me up late and returned me to Juvenile Hall for another nine months. I was shuffled through the system, becoming a ward of the court, and then placed in a group home. During each transition, I felt perplexed by the confusing process, with each placement leaving me more socially isolated than the last one. I struggled to find explanations for things and make some sense of my past. At this time, I realized that my success would depend upon my ability to make independent decisions and trust my inner strength. And it was at this time that I began to dream of growing up and helping other girls who were in similar kinds of situations.
As an older, non-traditional Chinese student, I look forward to utilizing my life experiences as content for papers and contributing to class discussions. Raised in San Francisco’s Chinatown, I want to return and use my multi-lingual and multi-cultural abilities to help the children of Chinese immigrants who have fallen through the cracks. I want to return to the streets where I grew up as a savior. I am bold and fearless, and my love for these children strengthens me. I want so very much to give the balance of my professional life to the children on the streets of Chinatown. Having discovered my tenacity, perseverance, and inner strengths, I look forward to arming myself with a degree from the University of ____ and enhancing my skills, knowledge, and credibility by attending one of the finest social work programs in the country.
Thank you sincerely for considering my application.
BA through MSW Social Work Program