Social work student Daniela De Santiago received a scholarship from the Association of Latino and Latina Social Work Educators (ALLSWE). The scholarship is awarded to students who are leaders in the field of social work and are working toward an impactful career.
"Receiving the Association of Latina/Latino Social Work Educators award means representation of my Latinx culture," De Santiago said. "This award also means there is support for Latino/a social workers to thrive."
As one of just 12 recipients nationwide, De Santiago says that receiving this scholarship will keep her motivated to achieve her goal of making a difference in the world. She attributes this goal and her decision to pursue a career in social work to the neighborhood she grew up in.
"Growing up low-income, my family and I always struggled to get by, which is something I would like to change for other families," De Santiago said. "It made me realize that no matter what profession I get into, I want to help others in need, especially children who experience traumatic situations."
When she worked at a fast food restaurant and at a summer camp, De Santiago came across low-income and minority families experiencing dire hardship and being affected by substance use issues. In addition to her love for working with children and passion for helping those in need, those experiences spurred her decision to pursue a degree in social work and make a difference in the lives of others.
"My goal is to help vulnerable children and families ensure basic human needs are being met," De Santiago said.