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MSW, Bilingual Latina, Illegal Immigrants

April 11, 2013

As a bi-lingual Latina social worker, I would like to work with immigrant families from Latin America, especially children that are being abused. I see the abused children of illegal immigrants to be an especially vulnerable sector of our society, since their parents, as a result of their migratory status, are generally quite reticent to seek help, at the same time that they are under enormous pressure in their struggle to support themselves and their children, especially since they often are required by their families to support the family back home as well, in Mexico, Central America, etc. Since I am myself an immigrant from Honduras, where I was raised, I speak their language, understand their problems. I can relate to them; thus, I will be in an excellent position to help them.

I believe that the role of prevention is of especially critical importance to the field of Social Work. At risk families in America, irrespective of their migratory status, should receive assistance in caring for their children who are often American citizens while their parents are not. Part of my optimism stems from the fact that there is a growing awareness on the part of publicly elected officials and professional public servants, that helping migrant Latino families is not only the humane thing to do, but also the economically responsible thing to do. Migrant Latino families are especially vulnerable to disease, crime, poverty, domestic violence, homicide, suicide, school dropout, drug and alcohol abuse, etc. In the long run, providing adequate support to these families is in America’s long-term economic interest, since it will facilitate at least the children of these families to become productive members of society, rather than a burden to society. I feel strongly that our dollars are much better spent on prevention, providing children with adequate support and resources so that they do not wind up in jail, and in this way become a long term economic burden to society.

 I am most enthused by the fact that many social work professionals are in agreement with me. And I am very much a team player. I look forward to collaborating with other social work professionals as well as professionals in a variety of fields, such as health care workers and criminal justice officials, so that we are able to bring to bear our society’s resource in a coordinated fashion to prevent the disintegration of families, child abuse, drug abuse, etc.

I keenly look forward to developing programs that provide support and education to those families that are at high risk of disintegration, violence, child neglect, etc. Unfortunately, with respect to families in the immigrant Latino community, it is important to note that many, perhaps even most families with children have no responsible male parent. Immigrant Latino men, generally speaking, have not distinguished themselves as particularly responsible husbands and fathers. Thus, I want to develop a special focus on the children, many of whom have no father in any meaningful sense, at least one that takes full responsibility for his children.

 My immediate goal is to be accepted to the MSW Program at XXXX University and to become a licensed social worker. Eventually, I look forward to having my own private practice, providing services to families and children, especially in hospital and school settings. I want to provide counsel and support to individuals as well as families, and help them to improve their lives. I have worked as a volunteer counselor for a family services and guidance center where I assisted primarily severely emotionally disturbed children and their families to improve their lives. I have also worked as a volunteer Spanish translator for XXXX Community Center. I am now completely bicultural as well as bilingual. I enjoyed helping people, making a positive difference in their lives. And I particularly enjoy working with people from many different backgrounds. Even among immigrant Latinos, there is enormous cultural diversity which is something that greatly relish. It is the learning experience itself that I most prize.

 The greatest contribution that I might be able to make to society would be to contribute to the enhancement of the well being of the members of my community, especially those who are most vulnerable and at risk.  My own appreciation of diversity has been very much enhanced by my travels. I have visited many countries for vacations and have also studied in both Melbourne, Australia, 2010, and Birmingham, England 2011. In both countries, I studied Morita therapy. In my own country of origen, Honduras, I was a school teacher until I left for the USA in 1997.

 At some point, I would like to earn my PHD in Social Work with a special focus on Mental Health. At some point I would very much like to also assist Honduras to develop programs that would be successful and curbing the horrendous problems associate with violence, gang activity, and drug abuse, all of which are rampant throughout Central America.

 As a Hispanic immigrant woman, I have faced many challenges. When I started attending XXXX University, I did not speak English very well, so I had to overcome many language as well as cultural barriers or hurdles. I thrive on challenges, however, because they help me to become a stronger person and to gain confidence in my abilities to help others. I am a firm believer in the importance of life-long learning and constant personal and professional growth.

 I believe very strongly that my own personal values and worldview are highly compatible with the Code of Ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. This is primarily the case because of the fact that I want to devote “particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty,” as specified by the code. Furthermore, I am also very much concerned with social justice. In fact, I see social justice as of foundational importance to mental, emotional, and physical well-being. Caring for children in a home with few economic resources is all but impossible without community support. And I feel strongly that all children in America, regardless of how and when they arrived, deserve our support and guidance; in fact, I see this as their right. Helping immigrant families and their children, therefore, is not something that I see as a matter of charity. Rather, it is what justice requires in a humane society. Our own dignity depends on how we treat the most vulnerable among us.

 I want to devote my life to serving as an advocate of the most vulnerable amongst us. As specified by the code: “Social workers promote social justice and social change with and on behalf of clients.” I believe that my greatest strength is that I am a very caring, compassionate, and dedicated person. My greatest weakness is the tendency that I have to worry so much about my clients and their problems that I sometimes neglect to adequately attend to my own personal and family issues. I want to thank you for considering my application.

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