I owe each of you a HUGE thank you for the time and dedication you put into me and this program; I know it has been a whirlwind getting things running smoothly, but I am genuinely grateful to be part of the beginning process, and I know greater things are yet to come.
When I began my undergrad journey in 2011, I never imagined that I would be the confident individual I am now. As a non-traditional, first-generation college student, my undergraduate journey was long and at times difficult. However, through the love and support I gained from the faculty and staff, the uncertainty I had felt turned into hope. In 2018, I proudly walked my “Nevertheless She Persisted” decorated cap across the graduation stage when earning my BSW.
In 2021, I was accepted into the EKU MSW program; I was leery about starting due to my many challenges during undergrad. However, I knew with the support of my spouse and the dedicated faculty, I would again see the graduation stage. I began this journey prepared to make sacrifices (decided not to balance a job, arranged long-term childcare, planned for minimal social life, etc.).
Positive Life Changes
What I could not prepare for is how this program would completely restructure the dynamics of my life. Not only did the intimate relationships in my life begin to flourish, but it assisted in my transformation of becoming a confident, competent, yet humble social worker. Immediately after graduation, I felt prepared and eager to take on the various challenges of social work and serving our communities. I do believe it was that same confidence and competence that landed me my dream career a week after graduating.
I’ve learned so much from you but the most significant lesson I obtained during our time together was not one through research, homework, or a textbook. It was a lesson through observation by spending time with each of you: Live moment-to-moment,
This lesson has allowed me to be present with each individual I interact with, genuinely valuing the importance of human connection and learning through their experiences.
I use this lesson in my personal life to strengthen my relationships with others and with myself. It is a lesson that will be implemented to the core of my professional practice in promoting the ultimate goal of enhancing the well-being of all individuals.
Once again, thank you for your endless dedication in making sure that I was prepared to take on the world and being an intricate part of my life for the past ten years.
Stephanie Burris, MSW
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