Name: Sarina Castañeda
Major: Social Work
Student Organization Affiliation:Undergraduate Social Work Association and Latino Student Social Work Association
Graduation Year: May 2016
What made you decide to enroll in the School of Social Work at SDSU?
I was born and raised in San Diego and once I decided on a major in social work, I knew I wanted to attend SDSU. I attended City College before entering SDSU and learned about the SDSU School of Social Work through some of the social work professors. I also learned about the program through previous social work students and heard great things when they shared their experience in the program at SDSU. I was really excited to learn about the undergraduate field education and internship placement and looked forward to gaining some real hands on social work experience in the San Diego Community.
What have been your most memorable experiences in the School?
The School of Social Work has great study abroad programs that are taught by eminent professors. My most memorable experience was studying social work in Thailand over the summer last year. In Thailand I had the opportunity to learn about social work in an international context and visit health and social service agencies. It was a great way to compare and contrast social work practices and social issues in Thailand from those in the U.S. I also learned a lot about Thai culture and some of the social norms in eastern countries. Some of the places I visited while studying in Thailand included Thammasat University, Thailand’s most prestigious university, a hospital, orphanages, community markets, Buddhist temples, and a Thai rural village. Studying abroad in Thailand gave me the opportunity to expand my knowledge and education in social work. It was truly a life changing and memorable experience.
What are your plans after graduation?
After graduation I plan to attend graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in social work. Since my passion is to work with children and families, I would like to take the direct practice approach to enhance my social work skills in micro and mezzo settings, with individuals and groups. After receiving a MSW, I would also like to pursue a licensure as an LCSW to broaden my horizons in the field of social work.
I have currently been providing case management services at a shelter for domestic violence victims and homeless families through my internship in the field placement program. I have been enjoying working with the families in the shelter and connecting them with needed resources in the community. So far it has been a great learning experience and has provided me reassurance that I want to continue working with children and families. As a future social worker I hope to help families by alleviating stressors in their lives, such as family violence, to enhance their overall well-being.
What are some of your favorite aspects of the program?
I think the faculty and staff in the program are extremely helpful and inspiring. They are truly passionate and knowledgeable about social work and they have their students’ best interest in mind and want to see them succeed. I have gained insight into the social work profession from my professors in the program that will be beneficial through my learning experiences as a student social worker.
I also really appreciate the faculty and staff’s efforts to continue to better and improve the program. In the short period of time that I have been an undergraduate in the program, I have seen many improvements and growth, which also reflects the students in the program. As a student, it is great to know that kind of support and encouragement exists at SDSU.
Describe why you would recommend SDSU to potential students.
As an Undergraduate in the School of Social Work, I would recommend SDSU to potential students for many reasons. First, as mentioned before, SDSU has helpful and encouraging faculty and staff. As a student you will be inspired to make a difference through the social work practice and will succeed in classes with hard work and participation. Second, SDSU has a diverse student population. Students will learn so much about other cultures from their peers and class discussions. Lastly, there are hundreds of student organizations on campus that receive a lot of support from SDSU faculty and staff. Being an active member in student organizations at SDSU has been a helpful support system and a great learning experience on both a personal and professional level.
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