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BSW Personal Statement, African Woman in China

Born and raised in Cameroon and as an African woman living in China, I have had a great deal of experience with multicultural issues, especially the stigma of racism and its negative impact on the lives of black people. I have learned over the course of my struggle for a professional identity, that I must constantly evaluate my feelings, keeping them in check, and learn to constantly improve my own attitude and adjust my behavior in such a way as to optimize my professional development. I was a sickly child and born into an ethnicity that is very marginalized in Cameroon; as a result, my personal struggles, especially as a social worker and ESL teacher, have helped me to become compassionate, to understand the pain of disempowerment, social marginalization and injustice.

My greatest asset is my curiosity, flexibility, and dedication to learning new ideas, incorporating them into my identity so as to become a better professional. I am a problem solver who relishes challenges and the opportunity to use my critical thinking skills. English is my first language and I also read and write French fluently. I speak Chinese but I am unable to read or write very much in this language. Being multilingual has helped me to refine my communication skills and to communicate effectively in all three languages, especially English.

The sexism as well as racism that I have experienced in China has helped me to better understand the importance of indigenous perspectives, the nature and source of power and oppression, and the need to struggle for one’s own liberation through service to others. I look forward to a long and extremely productive career as a social worker, forming partnerships with my clients where we work together to fight against the damage that is done by social marginalization and oppression.

There are several factors why I wish to become a social worker but God is at the central core. I was brought up in a Christian family and grew up in a church, helping others, taking care of the poor, needy, sick, prisoners and underprivileged as a top priority, as we were taught by our Lord Jesus himself who was a father to the fatherless. I feel that it is my responsibility to emulate him. My greatest joy in life is working on behalf of societies most vulnerable members. I feel that I am a strong candidate to your program because of privileges of social service that I have had. I want to become a more skilled counselor and caregiver, someone who is prepared for working with children and old people alike.

In fact, my central professional dream involves bringing children and old people together for their mutual benefit. Completing the BSW in your program will help me to achieve my professional goal of becoming a community organizer for the benefit of the less fortunate members of my community, helping us all to become more socially sensitive and responsible to those who depend on us.

 Essay 2, (500 words)

As an African woman married to a Chinese man and living with my in-laws in China has enabled me to overcome many challenges. My husband and mother-in-law are both social workers. My husband works with orphans. I would also like to devote my professional life to helping at-risk and needy children to develop in healthy ways. I am interested in ways in which we can make growing up less difficult, particularly for high-risk kids. I have been involved in teaching children in our Sunday school and counseling children and teenagers at camps. I have undergone crisis counseling training in my church (in China, a multinational church). I am especially dedicated to the study of how children that have been identified as at-risk for suicide, have been helped through counseling.

One of the more salient experiences that served to shape my identity surrounded a lady who came to the orphanage where my husband worked and was allowed to take a sick baby home with her to try and nurse him back to health. He was not expected to survive, but he did. I have stayed in touch with this woman and I visit her and her child who is not legally her son. The orphanage is grossly understaffed, with insufficient medical attention in addition to a more general almost complete lack of resources. This woman, my friend, saved this baby’s life. As I have gotten to know my friend better over the years, I have come to realize that in many ways, the baby saved her life as well, at least in terms of emotional and spiritual fulfillment. This case has left me fixated with the idea of needy people needing each other, helping those who need each other to find each other and to facilitate the formation of new families. Thus, I hope to work with children helping to find them homes with older adults. I grew up loving elderly members of my Christian community and I cannot over emphasize what impact these relationships had on my formation. I want to do everything that is within my power to help meet the basic human needs of all people in my community, especially its most vulnerable members. I have a spiritual and professional calling to do all that I can to help make people whole, empowering them to become happy productive citizens. I have seen broken people made whole through community solidarity and this excites me very much

My volunteer work has been mainly with handicapped children. I soon discovered that many are malnourished because of difficulties in chewing and or swallowing in addition to an unbalanced diet. The challenge has been to feed them a balanced semi-liquid diet that can help meet their nutritional needs. I have the philosophy in life that it is important to participate, personally and professionally, in the pursuit of progressive social change, particularly with and on behalf of oppressed individuals and members of minority ethnic groups. I think compassion is probably my greatest strength.

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