Personal experiences often inform the path we take in social work. For me, I know that I want to work with adolescents, because that was a particularly difficult time in my life.
As a child, I struggled being a person of color in a predominately white community. I had to deal with bullying, racism, and ostracism. Like far too many, at a time when all I wanted was to be accepted, I was instead teased about things that shouldn’t matter. On my way home from school, kids would yell racial slurs, insisting that I “go back to where I came from,” all while literally throwing sticks and stones. I never felt more alone in my life.
My parents saw how shaken up these attacks would make me, and would meet with my principal about preventing them. Instead of support, I was brushed under the rug. Their failure to address the situation, made me feel that my problems were trivial to them. Those years became a piece of me, and certainly set the tone for the rest of my high school experience. I’d like to be a part of a system, and profession that recognizes these problems and solves them.