Social Work Graduate School Personal Statement Samples

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Personal Statement of Purpose for entering into the Graduate Social Work Program at *****University, *****, College of Health and Human Services, Department of Social Work Education

Applicant name: ***** *****                                      


Social work introduced itself to me at a very tender age.  Being born blind in one eye, enduring several surgeries before I was *****, and being teased mercilessly in school for being “*****” taught me a great deal about the scars many of us carry.  While I had a physical difference from those around me, I knew that my tormentors had their own scars, inside of themselves.  Targeting me was a path by which they could make themselves feel better about themselves, and their insecurities.  I grew to see them more clearly than they saw themselves.

***** In my work, I draw from my own reservoir of experiences.  I have known about low self-esteem and low self-efficacy since childhood.  I know the pain of an abusive relationship, having lived through four years of a hellacious marriage, one I personally ended, building my own sense of self-worth and independence.  Hunkered down, afraid of the man I thought I loved, I felt helpless.  I swore I would never be helpless again, that my nightmare would never have been in vain.  Having raised ***** alone, a single mom, I am aware of the assorted challenges, balancing work and being a role model – a good mommy.

At this point in my professional career, I feel I have exhausted every possible path of promotion and opportunity at my current academic level.  There is a great deal more that I want to become involved in, work that I have only been able to observe from a supportive role.  I am intent upon pursuing and procuring a Master’s in Social Work, aiding me in bringing my dreams of working with, particularly women and teenagers to fruition.  A quality MSW program will enable me to conduct research into, and increase my depth of understanding of women’s studies and the mentally ill.

*****, and their benchmark graduate social work program will lay the necessary foundation by which I can later obtain my LCSW.  To this end, I will be able to address the unique needs of women, children and teenagers, as well as the mental health population.  I feel that many so-called “at risk” groups are purely those that need greater empowerment, a greater sense – and the confidence for – self-sufficiency.  The reality, though, is that there are many at-risk teens, particularly at the high school level, the threshold of adulthood, struggling with the weight of so many adult decisions on such tiny shoulders.  Nothing would bring me more personal or professional satisfaction than to tip the scales in favor of at-risk teens, helping them at what is probably the most critical juncture of their entire lives. 

Furthermore, I envision assisting women in abusive situations, showing them that they do have a choice, that there are myriad options available.  The cycle of abuse needs to end.  There is no better way to break this cycle than to nurture the strength every woman has within them, to become independent, to look to their children, and be a force for change for their sake.  Many times, teens that come from poverty and abuse end up in negative relationships.  In my future capacity, I envision staving off what has become, too many times, the inevitable.

For the past half decade, I have maintained a constant and consistent path to social work.  Working in the Department of *****, I have gained valuable insights into the work of clinicians, particularly those who work with mental health inmates.  Progressing to a Transitional Case Manager, Social Services Worker position, in ***** Women’s Facility, I work directly with the mental health population that are preparing for parole.  It is my responsibility to conduct in-depth medical, psycho/social and financial status assessments, collaborate with institutional medical/mental health staff to provide services upon parole, link inmates to substance abuse/dual diagnosis treatment facilities, provide referrals for mental health/HIV patients for counseling and transition into the community and link parolees with community based long-term case management.

Throughout my time with the Department of  *****, I have seen my professional path all the more clearly, guiding those in need to health lifestyle choices, increasing the amelioration of lives.  Everyone deserves the chance to function as a giving person in society, and the fire inside me is committed to facilitating that opportunity, one person at a time.  Inmates feel comfortable with me, imparting intimate details of the choices, the confused situations that led to their incarceration.  I would like to think that it is more than just my interpersonal skills, that I am, in fact, conveying my compassion, and my genuine desire to see the people I work with succeed.

***** stood out to me as a school that speaks of the need to produce alumni that are well rounded and culturally competent.  Spending ***** living with a missionary family in Kenya, I helped in the construction of a university.  It is interesting, but it was more the journey that changed me forever, than Kenya as the destination.  Traveling through Israel on my way to Kenya, I saw what crushing poverty does, the obvious pain of starvation, the plight of orphans and the despair of those stricken with HIV/AIDS.  And in Israel, I saw a country in which automatic weapons are omnipresent.  I did not feel comforted by their presence; I felt fear.  These experiences opened my eyes, my mind and rapidly changed my worldview, forever.

I look forward with great eagerness to developing myself as a creative and successful social worker.  No other field has nor ever could bring me the same level of personal or professional satisfaction.  To this end, to my tomorrow and those I will go on to serve, this is my dream, my calling and my unswerving path.


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Social work is full of strong, capable, intelligent women with a great sense of purpose. Here are just a few of the women we admire from the field.

Medha Patkar

Medha Patkar is a social reformer who became a politician. Born in Mumbai, Patkar had a keen interest in public service at a very early age.

As the daughter of a trade union leader, Patkar started understanding the problems faced by the underprivileged and felt the need to serve them. Her father took active part in the Indian Independence Movement; her mother was a member of Swadar, an organization formed to assist and support women who are financially underprivileged get educated.

Patkar has an MA in Social Work from Tata Institute of Social Science. She left her position at the faculty as well as her unfinished PhD when she became involved in the tribal and peasant communities in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat.

Patkar is best recognized as the founding member of the famous Narmada Bachao Andolan – a movement to save the rivers and people of Gujarat. As a candidate of Aam Aadmi Party in 2014, she received 8.9 percent of votes; she resigned from Aam Aadmi Party’s primary member on March 28, 2015.

Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa, as she was commonly known, was a Roman Catholic religious missionary and sister. She was born in Macedonia in 1910, and after living in Yugoslavia for about 30 years, she moved to India and devoted her entire life in social work.

Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic congregation, which is active in 133 countries. The Missionaries of Charity still run homes and hospices for people with leprosy, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS; mobile clinics and dispensaries; soup kitchens; orphanages; schools; and children and family counseling programs.

Mother Teresa devoted her life to provide: “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor”. She was honored with 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, and was also recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church.

Marie Woolfolk Taylor

Marie Woolfolk Taylor (December 18, 1893 - November 9, 1960) was one of the sixteen founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated: the first sorority founded by African-American women, ever.

The legacy Woolfolk Taylor created in establishing the sorority has continued to generate social capital for almost 100 years.

Woolfolk Taylor did post-graduate study in the new field of social work, and returned to Atlanta to start her career. She worked as a social worker and probation officer, and chaired numerous civic groups, readily handling financial responsibilities; she was on the board of directors of a range of charities, and considered herself mostly a social worker: but she also worked as an educator at night school.

With her commitment to community service and strong leadership in activities in a segregated city, Woolfolk Taylor demonstrated how sororities could help women “prepare to create spheres of influence, authority and power within institutions that traditionally have allowed African Americans and women little formal authority and real power”.

Jeannette Rankin

A graduate of what is now the Columbia School of Social Work, Jeannette Rankin, an advocate of women’s suffrage and a lifelong pacifist, was the first woman elected to the U.S. Congress. Her first act as a congresswoman was to introduce a suffrage amendment on the House floor. The amendment was passed about a year later. She was also the only member of Congress to vote against entering World Wars I and II.

These women are or were doing their thing regardless of their own circumstances, the political situation in their countries, or wherever they chose to go good and effect change. We’d love to support you if you’re headed in the same direction. Let us know how we can help you through our services.

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