In honor of National Social Work Month, one of our social workers, Lindsay, is sharing more about what led her to pursue a career in social work.
“I am often asked how I got into the world of social work or why I decided to pursue social work as my profession. My answer to that question is usually a variation of the same statement: “I don’t know.” Growing up, I am not sure that I even knew what a social worker was or what the field entailed. When I graduated high school, I was accepted into a university that two of my closest friends were also attending. As the time grew closer to move-in and orientation, I had a feeling come over me that this was not what I was supposed to do. I had recently returned from a mission trip to Haiti, a country I had traveled to and fell in love with multiple times over the previous four years. I felt like God was calling me to go back to Haiti and serve, rather than start my freshman year of college. I nervously told my parents, my two best friends and my extended family, who were all supportive. I spent the next few months working and raising money to fund my trip and then set off to Haiti in February of that year. I spent the next six months serving at an organization that ran orphanages, a maternity center, elderly care facility, schools and a clinic. During my time in Haiti I spent a lot of time caring for orphans and children that had been abandoned because of poverty or due to cultural beliefs regarding their special need. I saw the great physical needs that exist in Haiti throughout this time.
Once I returned home that fall, I had decided to attend a different university and started my college career completely undecided on a major. I considered majoring in education or nursing. I knew I loved working with kids and I wanted to choose a profession in which I was able to help others. I attended a major fair at some point during my first year and spoke with a social work professor who encouraged me to take an introduction class to see what social work was all about. Social work is such a diverse field and there are social workers in a variety of different settings The first day of my introduction class, the professor had each student tell the class what field he or she would like to pursue. I distinctly remember telling the class that I wanted to work in international adoptions. Throughout that semester, I felt like I was where I was supposed to be and never looked back. With my degree I have worked in child protection, the court system and the public school system. Now, I am blessed to be a part of a wonderful team here at Nightlight, pursuing my dream of working in the field of international adoption. Not only do I get to work with amazing coworkers, but also I have the pleasure of working with so many amazing families and children who inspire me! I consider it an honor and a privilege to play a small role in building forever families. Adoption is a beautiful gift and I am thankful for the journey that has led me here.”