Shawn, Community Partnership School Director at Wilkinson Jr. High in Jacksonville shares the importance of supporting students and their families each day. When communities come together, GOOD can grow even further… a mission we’re passionate about expanding through our Community Partnership Schools™ model.
What fuels you in your role every day?
I’m fueled every day by the impact of the work we do through our Community Partnership School™ model… not only for students but their entire families and the community overall, too. I love that we’re able to offer assistance to anyone in need (no questions or judgement!) and the results don’t lie: our attendance rates are increasing, academic grades are going up, food insecurities are being taken care of and kids and families are taking part in the free healthcare, dental and vision services available to them… right on our campus.
What lead you to the field of social work initially? Did you always know you were interested in helping people from a young age?
Serving and helping others is in my DNA. From a young age, I’ve worked to make sure I was part of the solution when problems were encountered… a trait I credit to my parents. I had great examples of selflessness around me and I’m thankful.
Now, I’m able to be of great help in my role. When I see how I played a part in changing life trajectories, I know I’m where I’m meant to be. It could be the simple job of a student who received a brand new backpack loaded with school supplies, their classmate who received their first pair of glasses (for free!) or a family experiencing food insecurity surprised with a box of food… I’m always reminded that I’m in the right place.
What advice would you give social workers on their very first day or right after graduating college?
I’d share the following great advice:
- You cannot change the world in a week. Grads have HUGE expectations and a million bright ideas, but it’s all about pacing ourselves so we can meet realistic goals.
- Find a strong mentor!
- Try not to take your work home (see #1!)
- Remember your “why!” and that you didn’t ever this field for money.
- It’s okay to rest and recharge as often as needed. Take care of yourself!
This March, we’re celebrating our social workers making a difference each day. Do you have a social worker in your life? Share a “thank you” today!
Interested in joining a CHS team like Shawn’s? Learn more about open opportunities here.