Social Work Month is an opportune time to reflect on the important contribution social workers make to our communities. James Terrell, a United States Army veteran, chose the UI&U Social Work Bachelor’s degree program because he wants to make a difference. Read more about James and his goals in the Q & A below.
Q. What do you plan to do with your degree?
A. My goal is to work with the Veterans Administration to help veterans who are battling PTSD and depression. I deployed in 2008 and three to four months after our return from Iraq, two guys in my squad committed suicide. I feel compelled to help my fellow veterans.
Q: What led you to this program?
A: I attended a job fair and met a Union representative. I knew that Union was for me because I had to work fulltime and attend college on my own schedule. Union fit that requirement for me.
I had to complete a 400 hour internship that allowed me to get real work experience. The internship only furthers my appreciation of social workers and the important work they do. Social workers are on the front line helping the homeless, the hungry, the marginalized populations in our communities.
Q: Why did you choose Union for your studies?
A: I chose Union for its flexibility and online degree program.
Q: If you could give a piece of advice to your 20 something, what would it be?
A: I would say have a direction or goal. The goal can change, but have a plan.
Q: Who has influenced you the most in your life, and how have they influenced you?
A: I was fortunate to have strong mentors in my late teens. A teacher and a pastor took an interest in me and helped me with direction.