I am a 27-year-old woman of Mexican heritage, raised in the troubled environment of South-Central Los Angeles. This difficult environment left me highly motivated to take advantage of all the opportunities open to me personally and to try to help others to do the same. I sought to succeed and serve as a role model for those struggling, the vulnerable, the at-risk. I have labored to persuade those that I seek to help that ‘all things are possible’ is not just a high-sounding phrase but a truth that can change their own lives if they embrace it. Social Work offers me the best opportunity to fulfill my goal of helping others, benefiting society in a direct and practical way. I am totally committed to and passionate about Social Work, which is for me a calling as well as a vocation.
Mature, self-motivated, compassionate, empathetic, and independently minded, I am often praised for my excellent communication skills. I am a native speaker of English and Spanish and have undertaken a significant amount of voluntary work in my life involving, for example, helping seniors and teenagers with ‘special needs’ in undertaking various leisure activities. I have also escorted veterans who are confined to wheelchairs, as a volunteer. I derive a great deal of satisfaction and pleasure from helping others in this way and believe that I provide a service of substantial benefit to those I assist. During my time at ____ University, I was a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, an Honors Society for students of Sociology and graduated with a GPA of 3.45. The Society’s declared purpose is ‘To investigate humanity for the purpose of service’, which I wholeheartedly share. Our society is particularly active in community service, and I enjoyed fully sharing in most of our activities.
I have also been employed as a Primary Intervention Program Aide, which involved assisting students through third grade having trouble adjusting to school. The primary objective in this work was to bond positively with the children on an individual basis to improve their perception of themselves and thereby create the ability to succeed in school. I was able to assist many children to achieve this goal, enabling them to get ‘on track’ to a successful academic performance. I enjoyed my work with children, to which I related exceptionally well according to the program director.
I served with the Californian Army National Guard from 2000 to 2009 and was on active service in Europe from October 2004 to February 2006, attaining the rank of sergeant. During my service I undertook a wide variety of duties requiring effective planning, meeting strict deadlines, the necessity to function effectively as a member of a team and to demonstrate effective leadership and decisiveness in my capacity as a non-commissioned officer. Military life provided me with training and discipline which has enhanced my ability to relate well to people of all backgrounds, to focus, to strive unswervingly towards my goals and not to accept ‘second best’. I believe that these attributes will be of great advantage to me in pursuing the rigorous demands of the MSW program.
In addition to an exposure to other cultures during my upbringing in Los Angeles, I have seen active National Guard service in Germany, Kosovo, Albania, and Montenegro. I also travelled to Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Greece, Honduras, and Mexico during periods of Rest and Recreation. These experiences have left me with a curiosity about, and an interest in, cultural variety and an understanding of the effects of culture on individuals and the need to take cultural background into account in relating effectively with others.
It was during my active service with the National Guard that I developed a profound and special interest in the welfare of those serving and of fellow veterans, and their families and consequently military social work is the field in which I am keen to specialize. In addition to relevant work and volunteer activity, my bachelor's degree at California State University at Fullerton provides an excellent basis for the master's program with my classes: Theories of Social Behavior, Developmental Psychology, Sociology of Education, Sociology of Families, Sociology of Social Interaction and Sociology of Communications. I qualified for the Dean’s list in 2008 and 2009.
I am a caring person, and my goal is to contribute to the well-being of others, to help people to function more effectively, to assist in bringing about beneficial social change, and ‘make a difference’ in those communities where I shall work. It has been necessary in my life for me to be able to relate well to people of all kinds of backgrounds, from the ‘marginalized’ to highly qualified professionals.
____ University's MSW Program places a heavy emphasis on field education, which makes it particularly appealing to me, by far the ‘best fit’ for my purposes. I am aware that Social Work is one of the few disciplines where it is possible to excel in theory and to thoroughly fail in its practical application. The constant testing and proving of theories and of oneself in real situations is vital in this field and I am certain that I can excel in both theory and practice and can provide useful input into Social Work research.
I hope to be able to undertake at least part of my field work amongst service personnel and/or veterans, and their families and I would like to participate in research in the areas of military social work and veteran services. My goal is to become a commissioned Behavioral Sciences Officer in the Californian Army National Guard and the MSW program is of crucial importance to my realizing this ambition.
I am aware of the prestigious reputation and high standing of the ____ School of Social Work and of the master's program. I know therefore that there will be very many well-qualified applicants. However, in addition to my passion for my subject, my proven personal qualities, academic qualifications and highly relevant work and volunteer activity, I have also gained many important life-skills gained through my service in the National Guard. This will enable me to make a unique contribution to my class and the academic community at ____ University.
Thank you for considering my application.
MSW Personal Statement Samples