From the Pen of NASW-Nevada BSW Rep Christina Cerrone, UNLV
As an undergrad student in UNLV’s social work program, I’ve had a couple of years to reflect upon the various components of the social work profession and what they mean to me as a student. Embodied in the field of social work are the six core values that permeate into the change that we strive to achieve as students and social workers from the micro all the way to the macro levels. These values set by NASW – service, social justice, dignity and worth of a person, integrity, competence, and the importance of human relationships – were largely influential in my decision to enter this program. As I moved further into my education, I wondered how I could increase my awareness, understanding, and passion for the profession, and being a member of the Nevada chapter’s Board for NASW has allowed me to do just that.
As students, it can often feel like we don’t yet have a voice within the social work profession. Yet, NASW has taught me that this couldn’t be further from the truth, as students are the future of the field, bringing a uniquely fresh perspective to the table. During my time as BSW Student Representative for the Nevada chapter, I have seen firsthand the work that NASW does to advocate for positive changes within the profession, taking all opinions into account – students and professionals alike. Not only has this helped me understand that I already have a voice in the social work community, but that all students have a voice and should take advantage of the opportunity to use it. Because of this, I’ve found myself becoming passionate about student engagement, exposing other students like myself to the benefits of being an NASW member. While there are several benefits to being a member, the main ones that stand out to me are the support received from other members, the extensive networking and professional resources offered, as well as the opportunity to be an advocate in a profession that we haven’t even fully entered as students.
Thanks to the dedicated efforts of fellow board member, Sandra Abdullah, LCSW, and her practicum student, Ayse Dulger, the Nevada chapter has effectively begun to spread the word about what it means to be a member of NASW and the sense of empowerment that accompanies that membership. In doing so, the board has begun to engage several more students in Nevada, displaying to them the important role that NASW plays in the social work profession. For the remainder of my time on the board as a student, I hope to increase the awareness surrounding NASW, helping social work students better understand their own influence on the profession and the unique position they can potentially hold as NASW members.