BSW Student Applies Social Work and Leadership Principles Through FSU Student Organization
When Margarita Amado-Blanco started her undergraduate studies at Florida State University, she was still an exploratory/undecided major with an inclination toward advocacy and special education. She dabbled in liberal arts classes, including international affairs and psychology, but found herself hooked by her first social work class as she began her minor in social welfare.
Rather than be intimidated by the breadth and depth of the social work field, Margarita is enjoying learning about the populations served and the broad swath of roles that social workers fill. Although still torn by her continued interest in special education, she was thrilled to learn that social workers serve functions in this area as well, including school social work. She was also struck by the inclusive environment within the FSU College of Social Work. “I enjoy the curriculum and how collaborative it is,” said Margarita. “I enjoy the positivity spread within the courses.”
She was also appreciating the applicability of skills she was acquiring through her social work coursework. This semester, she is particularly relishing the leadership skills she is cultivating in her Social Work Practice with Groups class. While exploring how to facilitate group therapy, she is also learning takeaways beyond client interactions and activities that have taught her about dealing with hardships and troubleshooting.
As she has grown her skill sets, Margarita has noted improvements within herself, particularly in regards to losing her fear of public speaking. The social work coursework has encouraged collaboration with peers, across campus and into the community and succeeded in bringing her out of her shell and into a new realm of possibilities, including her current leadership position as the president of the FSU student organization, Student Association of Social Workers (SASW).
Her first experience with SASW was at one of the organization’s networking event where students could interact with a panel of social work professionals. While she enjoyed the networking event, it wasn’t until she received further encouragement from other social work students that she joined SAS, first serving as treasurer. Through her involvement with the organization, Margarita realized she had a vision of where the organization could go. “I am very passionate about social work, and I just knew the role of president would be a great fit for me,” she explained.
As SASW president, she has learned as much from her role as she led. She notes how grateful she is for being able to be witness to the creativity of her peers, listening to their ideas and perspectives with an open mind. Now, as she nears the conclusion of her undergraduate studies, her enthusiasm for the organization has not abated even as she looks toward her field placement and graduation.
Margarita intends to remain engaged with the College of Social Work and SASW throughout the remainder of her senior year and hopes to continue with her studies with a clinical MSW degree at FSU.
She encourages social work students or students with interest in the field to join or to follow the organization at @saswfsu on Twitter and Instagram or FSU Student Association of Social Workers on Facebook. Students can also receive the biweekly newsletter by emailing email@example.com. To reach Margarita, directly email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.