Shalynn R: The Reason I Want to Be A Social Worker
The Reason I Want to Be A Social Worker
School Essay by Shalynn R. Age 17 – High School Senior
Being a senior in high school means making huge life decisions. One of those decisions is my college major and future career. I decided I want to be a social worker. Social work is not something I’ve always wanted to do, or ever thought of doing in my future. It was a gradual process over the past 3 years that helped me discover that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.
July 27, 2013 my dad overdosed on heroin and died in his sleep. It’s been difficult for me to process his death and accept it. For a long time I had nothing but anger for my father. I’m mad at him for doing that to himself. I’m mad at him for not telling anyone and getting help. I’m mad at him for making me so embarrassed that I lie to almost everyone, even my closest friends, about the way he died. But mostly, I’m mad at myself for being so mad at him.
These past 3 years have been a constant battle with myself and my grief. As time goes by, I’m learning to forgive my father for leaving me the way that he did, but it hasn’t been easy. Having to watch my younger sister grow up
without him has made it even harder to not be mad at him. Thinking about all of the milestones that my father has, and will, miss because of his actions have also made it all the more difficult.
When my dad passed away, I tried many things to get through the pain and anger. But I’m incredibly proud that I never stooped to masking my pain with drugs or alcohol. I finally found something that worked for me. My mom came home from work with an opportunity for me to volunteer at a camp ran by a non-profit organization called CARE.
The camp was for kids coming from high-stress situations. After volunteering, a person from CARE asked me to join their teen group called Teens Talking Truth, or T3. T3 is a group of teens, like myself, who made the commitment to remain alcohol, tobacco, and drug-free; a group who felt the same way that I did about drugs.
I continue to volunteer for CARE, and I have loved every second of it. I cannot pin point exactly where, but at some point throughout all of this, I decided that the feeling I get while working with CARE is the feeling I want to have for the rest of my life. It clicked…, a social worker is what I want to be when I grow up.
Working with CARE helped me realize how important it is to not only forgive my dad, but to forgive myself. I don’t deserve to live the rest of my life looking down on my dad for what he did. His memory doesn’t deserve to be looked at in that way either. In order to be at peace with my dad’s passing, I need to forgive. I thought that by volunteering at CARE I would be helping others, but really, I was helping myself.
CARE helped me to find a huge part of who I am. I love everything that I do with them, and I can’t wait to have a career where I get to do that sort of thing every day. That is the reason that I want to be a social worker.