Monday, March 15, 2010

Social Worker

I go to school online at the University of Phoenix. "I am a Phoenix"! I love it 95% of the time. I am getting my degree in social work.

Social Work is not a very glamorous choice in careers but it is one of the most rewarding. The average salary of a social worker with a bachelor's degree is $40-49K, which is only about $10k more than what I make now without a degree. For me it's not about the money nor will it ever be.

I have not always had the life I have right now, part of the reason I embrace the life I have now so much. I made many bad decisions. They say everyone hits rock bottom and for me rock bottom was when I ended up with my 4 year old daughter living at the Salvation Army. Now my husband hates for me to talk about this, not because he is ashamed of me but because I was in that situation and honestly, I use to be ashamed of it too until I realized that the Salvation Army was where I hit rock bottom and God allowed me to come back up.

Why social work? I have been asked this question more than once. For me it's not about changing the world. For me it's about having God use me to impact the life of one person the way he used another person to impact my life.

I will never forget her as long as I live, nor will I ever be able to repay her. Her name is Venette Meacham. She is an average built woman with a heart as big as Texas but she is a no nonsense kind of woman.

When I first started seeing her, I would go in crying and having a pity party. Ms. Venette would fold her arms, lean back in her chair and when I was exhausted she would ask "Are you done now? Fix ya face. Now what are we going to do about it?"

She never gave me the answers or told me what to do but taught me how to think about goals and game plans and how to work my way through issues, how to see myself in a different light and then one day she said the thing that had the most impact on me ever "Joni, I believe in you." and she honestly did.

While I was there, my daughter went to live with her father, I had some legal things go on but I also had some amazing things happen too. I found God who had been calling me for years, I began approaching things in a new way, I began to think about my life further than just tomorrow. I would find information about health fairs,back to school fairs, etc and post it on the bulletin board for others to use and eventually I was able to move out on my own.

The road hasn't always been easy but it's taken me 3 years to correct 10 years worth of junk and I still have some things I'm working on. I still call Ms Venette from time to time and in January I will have my Associates in Social Work and not long after that my Bachelor's Degree.

A Social Worker is really about doing God's business here on Earth by helping his people who are in need.

I would have never chosen any other career field ever. My parents say it's because I'm a bleeding heart Liberal. I say it's because God touched my life and my heart in a way that only certain people could ever begin to understand.

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