This I Believe

Alicia - Fort Worth, Texas
Entered on December 12, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in serving others and continually striving to find ways to make the world a better place. We all need to strive to overcome all obstacles that might set us back in our work with others.

At a leadership conference in Glorieta, NM a few weeks ago, with 41 scholars and many adult advisors, from across the country, I learned about fear, faith, following your dreams, finding my gifts and passions, defining success, and much more. Patrick Combs, our keynote speaker for the weekend, ignited my passion for working with others and striving to make the world a better place. His moving advice taught us about how to overcome obstacles and never settling for less than your dreams. Just like the 1 inch thick wooden boards that each one of us broke through with our bare hands that weekend, we as social workers need to get fired up and break through obstacles, and help others break through the obstacles in their lives. Our passion and love for the profession motivates us to action. It is a social worker’s primary goal to “help people in need and to address social problems.” I believe the world could use a few more people who are willing to put other people before themselves.

I haven’t been through anything great and tragic in life to have gotten me to this point. I am fortunate to have been born in a great country like America, as opposed to Mexico or Palestine or Darfur; I was born into a white family, which, in American especially, already gives you so many advantages compared to what minority groups might have to endure in America. Racial discrimination, in my mind, is a huge concern for today’s youth. Horrible racial and sexist terms and jokes are being thrown around in schools today as if they mean nothing. I was born to an educated, upper-middle class family that has provided me with everything I could ever need and want.

While I have been very privileged in my life, I don’t necessarily have to have endured the struggles that some encounter to understand the disparity that some individuals and families in America undergo. There are many people, even workers here on the Texas Christian University campus, who have obstacles that they come across daily; many have a very strong work ethic and are dedicated but are still poor and struggle financially. As the economic disparity in America continues to grow, I believe and am passionate about the ability to make a difference in the lives of these individuals. Because of the blessings that I have been given in life, – a wonderful family, an education, financial stability – I feel that I can use these gifts to give back to others, to the world, in order to perhaps make the world a more peaceful and just place for my children and children to come.