Born and raised in Brooklyn NY,there was always something to do, for example, playing sports,going out roller skating with friends,and starting little dance and singing groups with family and friends. But even though I had many things to do, I still wasnt sure what I wanted to focus on as I got older, being undecided I went to Acorn High School for Social Justice where I learned how important it was for everyone to be treated equally. Learning how important equality was in high school made me look at my community knowing that things could be better. At the time, I wasnt sure of ways to make it better, or if things would actually change, but it did make me realize that more could be done to help people. I started volunteering with some teachers and other classmates from my school in the community at a public school to help children with their work at an after school program,the feeling of helping people makes me feel like I accomplished a goal and that’s one of the reasons human service work intrests me.
Growing up within a big family – my mother, four sisters, and two brothers- and seeing how we all depended on each other made me realize the importance of having someone there that was reliable during times of need. Although I wasn’t quite sure about my career path, having family members that adopted foster children, seeing the different challenges they were faced with day by day; influenced me to gain an interest in this field. This was when I first decided to attend New York City College of Technology, where I hopefully will attain my Bachelor’s in Human Service. Human Service interested me not only because I wanted to help others, but because of the numerous issues I faced; for example, keeping all my problems to myself, affected me because it built up a lot of internal stress that caused me to take my anger out on other people who tried to help. I felt like at one point in my life, no one could understand me as a person. This persuaded me even more to not only become a social worker but to also look deeper within the problems clients might face when they’re looking for professional help. As a human service worker I know that confidentiality is very important when helping others because it keeps their privacy which will have them feeling comfortable, which allow them to open up in order to receive the appropriate help that they need.
In order to enhance my effectiveness for personal practice some of my personal and professional strengths will go beyond helping others. Some of my personal strengths consist of me having good social skills being able to interact with people in a way that they would feel comfortable, willing and open to speak about whatever issue they may have. Another personal skill would me being a good listener, having good interactional skills, and empathy. This is the most important skill because you’ll be able to recognize the other persons point of view, and not be judgmental. Some of my professional strengths would be great written communication skills, verbal communications, and observation.
A few of my characteristics and traits that would make me an effective human service worker would be the ability to comfort people regardless of the situation. Lightening up the mood occasionally can also make the client feel comfortable. Living in Brooklyn all my life exposed me to a lot cultural diversity races. Growing up in Bedstuy where there has been a large amount of poverty, violence, teenage pregnancy and unemployment, showed me how important more social workers would be to improve the community. Even though some of the issues people face are a results of poverty violence and unemployment, there’s also other problems that has a major impact, such as communication barriers. Moving to Bushwick when I was at the age of twelve where the population is mostly Spanish speaking, showed many problems Spanish speaking people face like not being able to speak English or not even understand it. These problems limits there social ability to communicate with others.
My main focus is to work with early childhood children between the ages of 4-12. I chose this population because I feel like at this juvenile stage, the children would be at a learning age where they can express, understand and relate their feelings to others. I also feel that at this age where they have to listen to their parents and their rules make it less possible for them to make their own decisions. I think working with this population would teach me how to gain more patience and understand the way the children see things from their point of view, without just looking at them as being young and always being undecided about things.
Working with this population I would need to learn how not to be sensitive. I need to learn how to listen to the children’s problems without showing my emotions. I feel like this is my biggest weakness, because it shows how vulnerable I can be at times. Showing others ones vulnerability makes them think the professional can’t really help them more than the professional can help themselves,it also shows them that they don’t have a strong support system that they came looking for in the first place. Knowing that my weakness is being vulnerable I hope to learn during my internship how to separate my emotions from peoples personal stories so they can get the approiate help they need.
Looking into my future of my career path, I’m still not clear about the setting I would chose. I know that I would like to start off as an ACS worker because I like the feeling of knowing I can make someone’s life situation better if they are in danger or not happy about the problems they are facing in their life.For example,if the parents are never home and spend most of their time outside not paying attention to their child as an ACS worker I can get the child into a better living situation where they can learn and grow the right way without being faced with problems like loneliness and neglect. I think the more I stay in this field, the more I would like to know about different populations for example,the disabled population,substance abuse population and the adolescent population. I hope to improve my skills as a human service worker by observing every population and the problems they are faced with, soI can understand their point of view and help them make the decisions they think will be best for themselves
Looking back at what I wanted to do even when I was younger,which was helping people,showed me that there’s more to human services than helping people. Writing this essay helped me to understand the importance of understanding yourself and your own need first in order to help others. Even though I’m not completely self -aware of all my problems, I know that every time I help others is a chance to learn something new about myself. I think human service as a major is a learning experience because everyone is different and is faced with different problems which makes this major very interesting to me and is the main reason I chose this field in the first place.