Each month NASW-MI will spotlight a student from one of the Michigan social work programs. If you would like to nominate a student please contact Duane Breijak at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 517-487-1548, ex 15.
Angel Lynn Counts
Hometown: Hazel Park
College/University: Marygrove College (BSW Candidate)
Why did you go into social work?
When I was 14 years old I visited a homeless shelter in Chicago, Jesus People USA, and it was then that I realized I had a heart for the less fortunate than I. I am an advocate for any and all issues relating to Social Justice, and I feel that the Social Work Core Values just come naturally with who I am.
What do you want to do upon graduation?
My intentions are to begin a MSW program right away. I plan to apply to Eastern, Wayne State and University of Michigan.
Any other comments (major accomplishments, advocacy projects, etc):
I am a volunteer and advocate for the American Heart Association (AHA); I have participated in speaking engagements as well as writing my legislator on key topics surrounding heart disease. I am also a survivor (5/21/2010). I am a volunteer at FernCare, a free medical clinic in Ferndale, MI. This clinic has also allowed me with the help of the AHA to have an open forum surrounding women and heart disease. I am a Teaching Assistant at Oakland Community College in the Mental Health/ Social Work Program; this is my third year. I belong to 3 organizations on campus and hold positions in 2. I am co-secretary of Phi Alpha National Honor Society, I am Secretary 2 of Network Organization and I am a member in good standing of Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society. I have organized a rally and open discussion forum relating to the Trayvon Martin case, a Florida teen that was gunned down in his neighborhood because of his race and the fact he was wearing a hoodie.
"Angel Counts is a social worker at heart. She lives the values of the social work profession in her every day affairs as well as her professional endeavors. She is a student leader who is inspiring to her follow students and her instructors alike. With all that she does she continues to hold a 3.9 GPA. She is an excellent example of a social work student in action."
Angel was recommended by Debbie Hanselman, an Assistant Professor at Marygrove College. See Angel's spotlight in the September 2012 issue of The Bridge or read Pr. Hanselman’s full recommendation here.
This month's student spotlight features Bryanna McGarry, a MSW candidate at the University of Michigan. Bryanna has her BSW from U of M - Flint and is studying Community Organization in Community & Social Systems.
Why did you choose SW as your profession?
I chose the profession of social work because I have a set of personal values that are congruent with the values of the profession. Growing up in a disinvested and largely segregated inner city, I witnessed the impact of oppression and racism up close-up at a very young age. I knew from a very early age that what I was seeing in my hometown was not okay, and that I wanted to work towards dismantling the structural barriers faced by so many people I saw on a regular basis in school.
What are your hopes upon graduation?
I'm pretty flexible in terms of where I end up in the profession, as this profession at large is tremendously fascinating to me, in all the various sects. Ideally, I'd like to be a lobbyist for the NASW or the Michigan League of Human Services, as either job would be a perfect balance of my love of social work and my love of politics.