Earning an Online MSW to Better Serve Those Affected by Human Trafficking

Ashton Sanchez

Ashton Sanchez has always been a social worker at heart. After earning her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Florida State University in 2016, she began working in child welfare in Miami, Florida. She was assigned to a human trafficking unit working with minors who were victims of human trafficking.

Wanting to do more for these youths, Ashton realized she needed a graduate degree to provide a deeper level of service and care to this population. The online MSW program at the FSU College of Social Work proved to be a perfect fit, allowing her to continue her education part-time while also continuing her work.

The flexibility of the program has allowed her to successfully continue serving her clients, but also have a balanced and healthy family and social life. She notes, that setting a schedule for herself has allowed her to give ample time to both the demands of her school work alongside free-time for self-care.

“When entering the program, my goal was to expand my knowledge of the clinical social work world. I feel like I have made significant progress. This program has helped me to turn into a well-rounded and informed social worker,” she said about her experience in the program. “I’ve learned a substantial amount about the therapeutic and clinical side of social work, as well as gained administrative and leadership knowledge.”

She credits much of her success to the support of family and friends, but also the staff and faculty at the College of Social Work. Her online advisor guided her through the requirements when she was accepted into the LEAD Certificate Program. She notes how positive her interactions have been with faculty and staff, feeling support and guidance every step of the way through her online courses

“FSU in all aspects has been supportive during this journey,” Ashton recalls. “I have taken two classes with Professor Margaret Ashmore and she has been critical in shaping me into the social worker I am today. She taught me the importance of getting the most out of my classes, and to accept criticism as something to grow from, rather than being disappointed.” 

Ashton has also embraced greater leadership in the social work community through her involvement with the National Association of Social Workers’ Florida Chapter. She was elected the 2019 MSW Student Representative for the state, which has provided her the challenge and opportunity to reach out to other students, especially online students. She has enjoyed her role engaging her fellow students and helping them to network and establish connections with other social workers in the field.

“Social workers need to stick together and provide support not only to the clients we serve, but for each other,” she stressed.

She now works with both children and adults involved in human trafficking and is projected to graduate in the spring of 2020, and plans to pursue her clinical licensure.

To learn more about your options through the Distance Learning Program at the FSU College of Social Work, visit https://onlinemsw.fsu.edu/.

Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 03:35 PM
Last updated: Fri, 07/10/2020 - 01:44 PM