HELEN PARK, MSW (2010)
What brought you to social work school? Why NCSSS?
After working within the legal and incarceration systems, I realized that a self-reinforcing, systemic, multidimensional oppression was occurring around me--and that I was inherently a part of it. I chose NCSSS because of the institution's clear and competent focus on all aspects of the person and community, including justice and spirituality. NCSSS made sure I became the most capable social worker I could be, and to push self-made boundaries of doubt and insecurity.
Why the Social Justice and Social Change concentration?
Social Justice and Social Change are precisely the issues that I desire to recognize, understand, and fight for. This is at the heart of what woke me up to the systemic oppression and exploitation around me, especially as a woman of color. I wanted to really understand the nature, the processes, and powers fueling social injustice and the barriers to genuine collective transformation for all those excluded and marginalized.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
I hope to extend and apply all the knowledge and experience I have gained as a Social Justice and Social Change student. I plan to collaborate with marginalized communities, such as Asian immigrant populations and trafficked women and men, in order to help them become empowered and achieve political voice within and outside of their nations and governments. I plan to help formulate and advocate for socially just policies and legislation focused on the rights and capacities of those exploited communities.
(Undergraduate activities) Resident Advisor, Spoken Word Collaborative member, Student of Color Magazine (the Ankh) contributor, Asian/Asian American Show (Mabuhay) Committee Member, Writing Tutor
(Graduate activities) DC Little Lights Urban Ministry volunteer, KCPC Sunday School teacher/counselor, Fairfax Juvenile Detention Center Creative Writing facilitator