Write an essay where you tell us about what drives you in your pursuit of your graduate degree.

I am a 22-year-old female independent graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University located in Richmond, Virginia. I have just completed my first semester in the Master’s of Social Work program. I knew I wanted to attend VCU to receive my MSW when I was in 8th grade. I graduated Cum Laude from University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia this past May of 2018 with my BA in Sociology. When I graduate with my Master’s of Social Work I plan on working at the McGuire Veterans Hospital in Richmond, Virginia while training for licensure. Once I obtain my License in Clinical Social Work I want to become a Family therapist so that I can help individuals and families who may or may not have struggled like I have for most of my life.
I have experienced many challenges in my young life, however these challenges have made me a stronger, more hardworking, and ambitious person. My mother lost custody of me when I was six years old when my grandparents filed for custody because her Borderline Personality Disorder was preventing her from properly caring for me. I experienced much trauma for the first six years of my life that I continue to struggle with everyday. Fortunately, once my grandparents began raising me my life started to improve. It was a challenge for them to not only raise a child in their old age, but also to raise a child that suffered from PTSD, anxiety, depression, and OCD. I owe my grandparents the world and they are another huge reason why I am such a determined individual. Unfortunately my grandfather passed away on January 1st 2016. I consider my grandparents to be my parents and so losing my father figure at the age of 19, when I was in my second year of my undergraduate work was horrendous. I am working to support children and families dealing with trauma, relationship challenges, and the agony that sometimes comes with daily life. It would mean the entire world to me if I received even a dollar of this scholarship.

Shelton from Virginia
Virginia Commonwealth University