Ashley - Fort Worth, Texas
Entered on May 4, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe in faith. Faith means having the will to act, often without evidence or experience that warrants the act. I am committed to living by faith. Yes, I have faith as in a religious foundation, but for me faith is also a one-word answer to my personal values. I believe in many things: family, honesty, service, opportunity, hard work, perseverance; religion among them. In my opinion, the word faith simply encompasses each of these important themes. It takes trust and devotion to build a strong family. It takes confidence and conviction to be honest and work hard for others and ourselves. It takes belief to seize the opportunities we are given and persevere when no one else thinks it’s worth it, or no one else thinks you can succeed in that opportunity. In essence, life takes faith.

My faith has helped me to be successful in 21 years of life thus far. Using my faith as a foundation I have been able to illustrate the morals and values that I believe in simply by living. When someone asks about my decisions, it gives me the opportunity to educate them about my faith. This is parallel to what I do everyday as a social worker. I am more confident than ever that a large part of my future career will be dedicated to educating clients about their rights and opportunities and educating the public about the truth of the clients I work with. My future is directed by my faith and will give the chance to exercise it on an even broader scale.

Volunteering with minority, primarily Spanish-speaking students throughout high school and college, I slowly found myself looking at ways that I could use my faith to help them be successful in attending secondary education. I have faith that working with these families I can use my belief, trust and confidence in them to help them use the opportunities available to them. Not only does my faith give me confidence in working with the families, but also gives me confidence in my abilities to influence change in legislation to be more supportive of these families. I believe that these families and their children are stronger than they are often given credit for and that they can be successful with the right tools and support. The public needs to see the truth about my clients and my clients need me to help them break stereotypes. While I maintain a religious viewpoint and use my faith as a foundation from which I make decisions, plan my career and attempt to live, I am conscious to not impose this belief system on others. Faith allows me to be secure so much that I can serve my clients while maintaining my beliefs.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13